President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday passed up an opportunity to definitely endorse or reject calls by organized labour for the implementation of N30,000 monthly as national minimum wage
To avert an industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking a nationwide industrial action, President Muhammadu Buhari had received their recommendation in November with the promise to forward a new minimum wage bill to National Assembly for action.
However, when he appeared before the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said he would refer the proposal to a technical committee to work out the challenges around the labour’s demands.
The President spoke extensively on his fears about implementing a 30,000 new minimum wage, saying he was determined to avoid a fiscal crisis, increased level of borrowing, inflation and job losses.
“I will be sending a bill to the National Assembly,” he said.
“However, in order to avoid a fiscal crisis with the Federal Government as well as the states, it is important to devise ways to ensure that its implementation does not lead to an increase in the level of borrowing.
“I am, accordingly, setting up a high-powered technical committee to advise on ways of funding an increase in the minimum wage and the attendant wage adjustment without having to resort to additional borrowings.
“The work of this technical committee will be the basis of a finance deal, which will be submitted to the National Assembly alongside the minimum wage bill. In addition, the technical committee will recommend modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage in such a way as to prevent its inflationary impact as well as ensure that its introduction does not lead to job losses.”