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Rewane chairs Minimum Wage Committee

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* We’ve made adequate provision for increase in 2019 budget – Buhari

SUNDAY ODE, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday inaugurated a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the new National Minimum Wage implementation. chaired by an economist and financial expert, Bismarck Rewane.

The Tripartite Committee which draws its membership from Government, Organized Private Sector and Labour is to consider the National Minimum Wage and make recommendations to government for its upward review.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who inaugurated the TAC at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, recalled that the last time Nigeria’s national minimum wage was reviewed was in 2011.

“It is therefore evident that a review is necessary, despite the prevailing fiscal challenges,” Buhari said.The President disclosed that the Federal Government had made adequate provision for the increase in the Minimum Wage in the 2019 budget proposals submitted to the National Assembly.
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Buhari assured that the Federal Government would be able to meet the additional costs that will be incurred in moving up all personnel currently earning below the new minimum wage.

However, the President said, “we anticipate that after the new minimum wage has been passed into law we will be going into negotiations for salary review for all the workers who are already earning above the new minimum wage. It is therefore important that we are properly prepared to meet these demands.

“We must therefore look at ways of implementing these consequential wage adjustments in a manner that does not have adverse effects on our national development plans, as laid out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“The ERGP sets appropriate targets for levels of Capital Expenditure, Public Debt, Inflation, Employment, etc. It is absolutely important that the implementation of a new minimum wage does not adversely affect these targets, and thereby erode the envisaged gains for the workers,” Buhari stated.

Others on the board from the private sector are: Former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru; Sulieman Barry; Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Akpan Ekpo.

The Terms of Reference of the Committee are: To develop, and advise government on how to successfully bring about a smooth implementation of impending wage increases; identify new revenue sources, as well as areas of existing expenditure from where some savings could be made in order to fund the wage increases without adversely impacting the nation’s development goals as set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; propose a work plan and modalities for the implementation of the salary increases; as well as any other suggestions that will assist in the implementation of this, and future wage increases.

The President emphasised that given the urgency of the exercise, the committee is expected to complete its deliberations and submit its report and recommendations within one month today.

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