Fuel Subsidy Removal: FG Eyes N200,000 Minimum Wage

VAM News Update

THE Federal Government of Nigeria, is inclined to raise the minimum wage to N200,000 per month as demanded by Labour unions.

However, state governors are urging caution, and a technical working group chaired by Anambra State governor Charles Soludo has been established to address the related issues.

According to sources, the matter was extensively discussed at a recent National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, during which the Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission presented a proposal on how the Federal Government could meet the demand for a higher minimum wage.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu personally believes that the demand from labor unions is not unrealistic, as evidenced by his campaign promises.

The NEC meeting, inaugurated by the President in June, saw the Salaries and Wages Commission assess the financial implications of the proposed minimum wage increase.

At the meeting, state governors, represented by Anambra State governor Charles Soludo, raised questions regarding the source and allocation of funds before endorsing the presentation.

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The expectation is that the new Foreign Exchange policy will make more cash available for distribution among the Federal Government and the states under the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) monthly distribution. This surplus cash, combined with savings from fuel subsidies, could potentially enable a significant increase in the minimum wage from N30,000 to N100,000 per month.

A sub-committee was subsequently formed during the June NEC meeting, comprising governors from Kebbi, Anambra, Benue, Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross Rivers, and Oyo States, representing different geopolitical zones.

The committee includes representatives from the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Representatives from organized labor (TUC and NLC) and Ms. Rukayyat El-Rufai are also part of the committee.

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Following the sub-committee’s meeting, a technical working group chaired by Charles Soludo was established to address issues related to raising the minimum wage. The group has already convened multiple times. One of its key resolutions is that negotiations with labor should involve both the federal government and the states.

Later this month, the NEC will convene to receive the sub-committee’s report and make a final decision on the national minimum wage. The decision will then be forwarded to the President as an advisory.

Sources suggest that at a minimum, federal government workers will receive the substantial wage increase, while the fate of the states will be determined based on the agreed-upon allocation.

The National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission’s mission is to establish an equitable, affordable, and sustainable remuneration system for workers in the federal public sector.

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