Payment of new minimum wage begins in April- FG
The Federal Government on Thursday said a new minimum wage regime would come into effect on April 1, 2024.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said the current N30,000 minimum wage would expire at the end of March 2024.
Mohammed said this on Thursday as an analysis of the 2024 –2026 Fiscal Framework budgets indicated that the Federal Government would spend N24.66tn on salaries in 2024, 2025, and 2026.
Following the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, the Federal Government agreed to pay N35,000 to each of its workers to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
But the organised Labour insisted that the N35,000 wage award was a temporary measure, adding that the minimum wage should be reviewed in 2024.
The Federal Government’s team and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on October 18, 2019, agreed on the implementation of the N30,00 minimum wage after months of negotiations.
However, Labour unions on Thursday confirmed that they had started a negotiation process with the Federal Government, adding that based on the country’s labour law, the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years.
The Nigeria Labour Congress National President, Joe Ajaero, recently said, “It is open knowledge that the review of the national minimum wage is a matter of the law which is expected to happen in 2024.”
On his part, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed, told The PUNCH that the improved take-home pay was meant to replace the temporary palliative measure put in place by the government to ameliorate the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal.
He said, “Certainly, there is a new wage regime that will come in on April 1, 2024. That is why these palliatives were targeted so they would cushion economic hardship before then. In our negotiation with Labour, we said that the wage issue was not something one could just fix. A committee that will also involve Labour itself will work on it.
“The committee is being constituted and we are talking to Labour about it. And by the time this current wage regime expires by the end of March, we will expect that a new wage will begin by April. It is in this wage regime that we will now have a proper salary structure for workers across the length and breadth of Nigeria. We expect that the private sector and state governors will also do the same.”
A top official of the NLC, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the organised Labour had initiated talks with the government
He said, “By April 1, 2024, the current minimum wage will expire. We have all agreed to set up a national wage negotiation committee, and that the committee should comprise all parties.’’