We’ll finalise minimum wage issue with FG before 2019, governors assure
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday promised to resolve the national minimum wage imbroglio with President Muhammadu Buhari before the year winds up.
Its Spokesman, Abduralzaque Bello Barkindo, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja after a meeting added that the governors used the opportunity to welcome Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, into the forum.
However, Organised Private Sector (OPS) under the aegis of Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to urgently send the national minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.
They group said since the process of arriving at a national minimum wage had culminated in the submission of recommendations of the tripartite committee to President Muhammadu Buhari, a speedy passage of the bill would avert further industrial unrest.
President of NECA, Dr. Mohammed Yinusa, said this yesterday, during its quarterly media briefing on issues crucial to business survival and economic growth.
Labour unions had charged the President to take urgent steps to address the lingering issue on the new national minimum wage by immediately forwarding an executive bill to the National Assembly to legalise the committee’s recommendations.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said Nigerian workers were dissatisfied with government over the delay and were becoming more agitated.
The National Minimum wage tripartite committee set up by the President to review the N18000 minimum wage had recommended N30000 as new minimum pay.
Yinusa said NECA believed government’s ability to pay the new wage should not be a challenge if it maintains efficiency, effectiveness and prudence in the allocation and distribution of available resources.
He said the N30000 recommended minimum wage was fair because it could lift workers purchasing power, increase demand and stimulate economic activities.
He argued that considering the need to implement the N30000 wage, conversation should focus on how to broaden the nation’s revenue base, ensure the states are viable, as well as eliminate wastages and rent seeking in all spheres of national life.
Yinusa added that its implementation would also increase the country’s national aggregate output, which has consistently been hampered by inadequate infrastructure.
He stressed the need to go back to economic fundamentals, where diversification, backward and forward integration, policy coherence, among other economic issues, would be prioritised.
He noted that policy options should be underpinned by constitutional amendment that would enthrone true federalism and resource control, thereby assuming the status of multiple centres of productive economic activities and development.
Worried about the looming foreign exchange shortfall to support economic activities, NECA urged the Federal Government to intensify diversification of the economy, especially as other countries are becoming destinations for foreign direct investments (FDIs).