The Federal Government and states have initiated discussions concerning an enhanced minimum wage in response to the recent surge in inflation resulting from the removal of petrol subsidy and the unification of exchange rates. The outcome of these talks will serve as a basis for the Minimum Wage Review Committee in determining a new wage structure for workers.
The move to review the minimum wage comes as labor groups seek relief from the financial impact of the subsidy withdrawal. However, it’s important to note that the government is not supportive of a 100% pay rise for all workers.
A spokesperson for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu clarified that the discussions revolve around a review of the national minimum wage rather than doubling every worker’s salary.
The government urges patience while the Minimum Wage Review Committee arrives at its conclusions during the evolving negotiations between federal and state authorities.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari had previously signed the new Minimum Wage Bill of N30,000 on April 18, 2019. While some states have implemented this minimum wage, others are yet to do so, and some, like Imo, have raised their minimum wage to N40,000.
In response to concerns about palliatives for the petrol subsidy withdrawal, the President’s spokesperson reassured that President Tinubu is committed to the plans laid out to support Nigerians.
The President outlined a timeline for various relief packages, including agricultural interventions and capitalization support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
The implementation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) supply-side and demand-side reforms will occur in multiple phases, concluding between the second quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.
In his recent broadcast, President Tinubu announced measures to alleviate the impact of the petrol subsidy removal, which includes the allocation of over N275 billion to boost the manufacturing sector and MSMEs.
Talks with labor unions about an upward review of salaries are ongoing, and once the terms are agreed upon, budget provisions will be made for immediate implementation.
Labor groups had demanded a pay increase following the petrol subsidy withdrawal, with some chapters advocating for N200,000. However, the specific details of the minimum wage increase are yet to be determined through the ongoing talks between the government and labor representatives.