President Muhammadu Buhari has said on Wednesday that workers earning more than N30,000, the likely new minimum wage will have their pay renegotiated.
The new pay, it seems, will not be for all cadres of workers.
It is important to prepare the minds of those to be affected that a windfall is not on the way so as not to be caught unawares, President Buhari said.
The government will begin talks with the workers after the new minimum wage Bill must have been passed into a law.
The President spoke at the inauguration of the Technical Advisory Committee on the Implementation of a New National Minimum Wage.
The development came barely 24 hours after the government and Labour agreed that a New National Minimum Wage Bill will be sent to the National Assembly on or before January 23.
The unions are demanding N30, 000 for the least paid worker. But governors are willing to pay N22, 500 and the Federal Government is offering N24, 000.
The President named Bismarck Rewane as head of the panel, which he inaugurated at the Council Chamber, State House, Abuja, before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) began.
Mermbers of the committee have been drawn from the public and the private sector.
It has a month to complete its work and summit its report and recommendations. The members are: Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Chairman Babatunde Fowler, ex-FIRS boss Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Akpan Ekpo.
Others include: Budget Office Director-General Ben Akabueze, who is the secretary of the committee, representative of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF); National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission Chairman Richard Egbule; Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack; Permanent Secretary, General Service Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Olusegun Adekunle; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olajide Odewale; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, and Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata.
The other members are: Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Office of the Vice President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu; Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Economic Policy, Dr. Joseph Nnanna; Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Director-General, Debt Management Officer, Ms. Patience Oniaga; Director-General, National Institute of Social and Economic Research, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith; Statistician-General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale; Mrs. Aisha Hamad, Mamman Garba and Tunde Lawal.
Pointing out that the last time Nigeria’s national minimum wage was reviewed was in 2011, Buhari said that it was evident that a review was necessary, despite the prevailing fiscal challenges.
He said: “This is why I constituted the Tripartite Committee of government (federal and states), the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and Labour to consider the national minimum wage and make recommendations to the government for its upward review.
“That committee has since submitted its report with some recommendations. We are currently working on the final steps that will lead to the submission of a National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to the National Assembly.
“I want to make it clear that there is no question about whether the National Minimum Wage will be reviewed upwards. I am committed to a review of the Minimum Wage.
“Also, it is important to explain that even though the subject of a national minimum wage is in the exclusive legislative list, we have been meeting with the state governors because it is imperative that the Federal Government carries the state governments along in determining any upward review of the minimum wage for workers.