Buhari’s minister Chris Ngige urges Tinubu’s government to increase minimum wage

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has said the incoming administration of the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu should start discussions on a review of the minimum wage currently obtainable in Nigeria immediately after its inauguration in May.

The minister made the suggestion while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

According to him, the next government should come up with a new minimum wage higher than the current N30,000 by May 2024.

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He also said the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari approved pay raise for “hardcore civil servants”, effective January 1, 2023, adding that there is a provision for it in the 2023 budget.

Ngige said the pay raise is to enable civil servants to cushion the effect of inflation, increase in cost of living, increase in transportation, and increase in housing increase in electricity and other utilities.

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According to the minister who was a member of a committee that negotiated a new minimum wage in 2018 which ended it in 2019, more than one year, the minimum wage in the West African country should be reviewed every five years to fit current standard of living.

“It is a tripartite negotiation involving public sector, private sector and state governments,” he said, adding that the minimum wage that went to the National Assembly then saw an increase from N18,000 to N30,000 though many states are yet to implement it.

Ngige said, “We entrenched in that bill or law that minimum wage will now have an automaticity of review every five years.

“So, from 2019 when it came into effect to 2024 will be five years but we also made a recommendation in our document which we submitted that the discussion, the negotiation should start one year from May 2024 when it supposed to kick-start.

“So, I’m envisaging that as from May 2023, the government will empanel the new minimum wage review committee for the nation.

“In my handover note which I am going to hand over to the transition committee and the next government, I am recommending that the discussions start anytime from May 2023.”

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