Dogara canvasses living wage for workers
Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has canvassed increase in workers’ salaries, insisting that wages should be commensurate with prevailing economic realities.
Dogara, who stated this at the public hearing on the new national minimum wage at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, argued that the proposed N30000 minimum wage for workers was inadequate.
Acknowledging that poverty remains the greatest threat to democracy, he maintained that workers deserve ‘a living wage’ to be able to resist the temptation of indulging in corrupt practices.
He stressed that workers need to be paid wages that would not only take them home, but have a portion to save in order to pursue happiness and give their children the training that they could ever dream of.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, who supported salary increment, commended the National Assembly for the expeditious manner in which it deliberated on the minimum wage Bill.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed restated Federal Government resolve to pay the N30000 minimum wage, but expressed concern over the sustainability of the increase by other tiers of government and organised private sector (OPS).
She added that they might be forced to reduce their workforce, thereby leading to increased unemployment in the country.
Stating that a committee had been constituted to explore ways of boosting internally generated revenue (IGR) to cope with the wage increment, she disclosed that the Federal Government spent N2.6 trillion as against N3.5 trillion income generated as revenue in 2018, representing about 70 per cent of the amount.
Also speaking, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, expressed concern that adjustment in wage increase may not be sustainable.
Udoma, who was represented by Director General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, identified blockage in revenue leakages, reduction in cost of governance and increase in revenue generation as measures that must be put in place to ensure implementation of the national minimum wage.
However, President of the Nigeria Labour congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, insisted on the implementation of the N30000 minimum wage across the country in line with the recommendation of the tripartite committee.
Chairman, Nigeria Governors forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, who supported increase in workers salaries, insisted that it could only be implemented if the Federal Government reviews the nation’s revenue sharing formula, which is he said, was long overdue.
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