FG’s Technical Advisory Committee Report on Minimum Wage Ready
The report of the Technical Advisory Committee on National Minimum Wage that was inaugurated by President Mohammadu Buhari has been finalised and is ready for presentation to the president this week, barring any unforeseen circumstance, THISDAY has learnt.
A source in the presidency, who disclosed this to THISDAY yesterday, said members of the committee have notified the president of their preparedness to submit the report.
“The report is due early this week. The committee has notified the presidency that the report is ready. It is an advisory committee to optimise revenue and to ensure that the implementation is short-lived. The committee was asked to explore everything possible and they were given a one-month mandate which elapsed today (yesterday).
“So, when it is submitted, the president would have to study it and either accept or reject the recommendations by the committee or issue a white paper,” she explained.
The president had last month inaugurated the Technical Advisory Committee on National Minimum Wage.
The committee is headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane.
According to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the task of the technical committee was to identify additional sources of revenue to pay the minimum wage and the consequential salary adjustment that would follow.
Udoma had also explained that the committee would, among other things, identify additional sources of revenue to ensure that the government could meet the increased costs that would arise from the implementation of a new minimum wage without affecting government’s ability to meet the other obligations, particularly with respect to the ambitious infrastructure development plans of the current administration. The minister had explained that whenever a new minimum wage bill is enacted, there are demands for some wage increases even from those already earning more than the new minimum wage.
Udoma had said, “All these salary increases will impose additional costs on the government. Therefore, the committee is expected to make suggestions as to how the government can raise additional revenues to ensure that the government can still meet its expenditure on other services such as education, health, infrastructure and other important functions of the government, after paying the increased salaries.
“The committee is expected to, amongst other things, look at how to get additional revenues so that as our wage bill goes up, we are able to increase our revenues to ensure that our spending on capital projects, our spending on basic infrastructure, our spending on health, our spending on education and others is not reduced.
“In short, the committee is to advise on ways to ensure that notwithstanding the increase in payroll costs, there continues to be adequate funding for other government activities. This is not just for the 2019 fiscal year. The federal government had approved N27, 000 as the new national minimum wage, which was rejected by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other trade union groups in the country.
Doris Uboh: ‘Madam Minimum Wage’ For Senate
The name Doris Uboh, when spoken of in political informed circles, stands out as an enigmatic but for those who may not have had similar privilege of knowing her but have heard of her, she comes as passionate about the welfare of the common man.
Uboh, an American trained engineer and one time member of the House of Representatives, 2007-2011, is one lady whose pattern of politics has redefined the ideology of service, and raised the bar of representation beyond satisfying the desire of constituents. Against the popular pattern of limiting representation to the confines of a lawmaker’s federal constituency, the nation, today, owes its improved workers welfare in respect to salary, wages and enumerations to the passionate activism of Uboh. For the purpose of the intellectual engagement and exposure this piece desires to convey, it will delve into what minimum wage is.
Minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay their workers and the price floor below which workers may not sell their labor. Before 2011 in Nigeria, it stood at #8,500 and this translated into identifying the country as one of the lowest paying economies. At different times the organized labor under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomole had embarked on mass action over the sad narratives which included miserly pay for workers. The wage of a country goes a long way in dictating the purchasing power of the worker. The minimum wage can therefore inform foreign investors about the viability of a country’s economy. Overall, the minimum wage of a nation, aside being a determinant of an economy’s viability, is largely the economic conscience of a nation, and yardstick which measures the gap between the rich and the poor, while also determining the frequency at which wealth can be created for by the lower, upper and upper middle classes of society.
The National Assembly carries the mandate of the people by reason of constituent representation, and, as is expected, the focus of each of the 360 members will, first and foremost, centre on the gains for their respective constituencies. However not considering constituents of Ika Federal Constituency alone which she represented, Uboh chose to affect the living standard of Nigerians at all levels irrespective of tribe and religion and societal placement (rich and poor, men and women, private and public sector workers), and the passage of the bill into law. Uboh’s ripe aspiration to the Senate amongst other things evokes nostalgia from her years as member representing Ika Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
From 2007 – 2011, during her first stint as a lawmaker, she was able to set a standard of sincere consciousness on the plight and yearnings of her people. Till date, she is the first and only representative who has been able to host projects in all wards within Ika Federal Constituency in four years. From Agbor to Ekwuoma, Umunede to Abavo, Mbiri to Owa, Ute-Ogbeje to Ekuku-Agbor, etc. are testimonials to the effectiveness of her representation. Her reach cuts across the various important sectors of society – Education, Health, Financial Aid to Small Business Startups and Human Capital Development, Road Infrastructure and Power. Curiously, these are accomplishments that are yet to be rivalled even eight years after she had left the scene. Constituents, natives and settlers of Ika North East and South Local Government Areas dubbed the period of her representation as the golden era of Representative Democracy in Practice in Ika Land.
oday, Hon Uboh aspires to represent Delta North Senatorial District on the Platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Madam Minimum Wage, as she fondly referred to, aspires to be given the nod by her people to represent their interests at the national scene and further distinguish the Anioma identity. An advantage she takes into the general elections is the satisfactory representation she delivered in the HOR, which for her has become a standard that can’t be compromised under any circumstance. Already, from Ndokwa, Ika, Aniocha and Oshimili enclaves that make up the senatorial district, excitement and confidence reach fever pitch at the prospect of a Doris Uboh at the Senate.
Uboh aptly dubs her senatorial aspiration as the rescue mandate that Anioma people need, in order to correct the negative impression that has been sold to the nation over the past four years through misrepresentation. Undoubtedly, Anioma needs a representative that carries the wit of a mother, intuition of a woman and wisdom from experience. In these, Uboh stands to be counted. The push to change the narratives for Delta North has come with more clarity which Madam Minimum Wage symbolizes. Unarguably, this is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to reinforce the true Anioma identity. Greatness beckons on Ndi Anioma with Uboh at the red chamber of the National Assembly.