Presidency Assured On States Paying New Minimum Wage

Presidency Assured On States Paying New Minimum Wage

The Presidency said on Tuesday that it expected every state to comply with the payment of the new National Minimum Wage.

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This is following concerns over the ability of states and local governments to pay the National Minimum Wage.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday signed the N30,000 National Minimum Wage Bill into law and directed that the implementation should commence immediately.

It replaces the current N18,000 minimum wage, which had been in place since 2011.

Speaking with New agency on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said the President expected all the states to pay the new wage.

Enang said, “For Mr President, he has signed the bill. Remember that the negotiations took place for over two years and all these things (funding) were taken into account and they were addressed by the committee.

“The governors and the local governments were all heard before eventually it was agreed that N30,000 should be the minimum wage from the initial demand of labour.

“I don’t think we should entertain any fears until there is any implementation problem.”

The presidential liaison officer further stated that the only immediate challenge might be that some of the states had already passed their 2019 budgets before the new Act came into effect.

For such states, he said the option for them was to consider supplementary budgets to make up for the difference between N18,000 and N30,000.

He said, “The only fear may be that some states may have already passed their budgets (2019) on the basis of N18,000, without the inclusion of the wage increase; in which case, they may have to consider a supplementary budget.

“Even the Federal Government today is still operating the 2018 budget, which had N18,000 as the minimum wage. The 2019 budget, which contains the provision for N30,000, has yet to be passed by the National Assembly.

“For the FG, it will only do adjustment of cost when the budget is passed without needing an additional appropriation.”

Correspondent recalls that most of the state governors had opposed the N30,000 minimum wage during negotiations with labour.

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