- The DG of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has disclosed that the 2018 budget cannot accommodate the NLC’s proposed minimum wage
- Consequently, he has stated that if the proposal is approved, the Buhari government may have to introduce a supplementary budget
- In 2017, President Buhari had put together a Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to come up with a decent wage for Nigerians
Ben Akabueze, director general, Budget Office of the Federation, says the federal government may go for supplementary budget to implement the new minimum wage if approved by the law, NAN reports.
Akabueze disclosed this at the Media and CSOs Dialogue on the 2018 budget, on Wednesday, January 31, in Abuja.
NAIJ.com gathers that he said that the 2018 budget at present cannot accommodate the proposed minimum wage by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
He said: “When an agreement is reached, the financial implication would be quantified and if need be, there would be a supplementary budget.
“The only provision that exists is what we call public service wage adjustment, but that is barely over N40 billion provided on that line, and that may not be enough to cater for any adjustments that may be necessary."
President Muhammadu Buhari, in November 2017 inaugurated a 30-man Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee, calling on the members to come up with a fair and decent wage for Nigerian workers.
Buhari said that re-negotiation of a new national minimum wage had become imperative because the existing minimum wage instrument had since expired.
He stated: “We all know that the last minimum wage instrument has expired. It is in recognition of the need to ensure a fair and decent living wage that the federal government put in motion necessary mechanisms so that we can today inaugurate this large committee with a big task ahead of you.
“You are all aware that during the period following the increase in petrol pump price in May 2016, a technical committee was established to examine and make recommendations to government."
Buhari, at the time said that the measures to be adopted would cushion the envisaged painful effects of the increase on workers and the Nigerian populace at large.
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that indications emerged that the clamour for upward review of the national minimum wage by organized labour may be long in coming, as there was no provision for it in the federal government budget proposal.
Organised labour had since May 2016, sent a proposal for a N52, 000 monthly National Minimum Wage (NMW) to the government.
Reacting to the development, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, through its president and general secretary, John Adaji and Issa Aremu, respectively, said the non-provision for new minimum wage was a critical missing link in the 2017 budget proposal.
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