Lai: President Buhari Still Considering Minimum Wage Recommendation
Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari will soon review the report of the minimum wage tripartite committee that was submitted to him on Tuesday.
Speaking with state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the minister said the president will make his decision known to the committee when he is ready.
The committee led by Amma Pepple, former head of service, had recommended N30,000 as the new minimum wage.
While receiving the report, Buhari promised to send an executive bill to the national assembly on the recommendation as soon as possible for consideration and approval.
“I think it was a recommendation. Mr. President will consider it and will make his views known in due course,” he said
When pressed further for more information, he said: “I said a recommendation was submitted. Mr. President will get back to the committee after he has studied the recommendation.”
On whether the revenue sharing formula might be reviewed if the new minimum wage is approved to enable the states to pay, the minister said: “Once again, like I said, a recommendation has been made and in responding to the recommendation, all these views will be taken into consideration.”
Meanwhile, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has said minimum wage should be based on the capacity of each state.
He stated this at the 2018 national peer learning event organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (Forum) titled mobilising domestic finance for development.
El-Rufai, while emphasizing that personal income tax should be collected by the states, said there is a need for the constitution to be reviewed so that some items can be removed from the legislative list.
Responding to a question on why personal income tax should be given to states, he said “I agree with you completely that in a federation there should be taxes that are national while others are sub-national.
“But if you look at our history you will see that we come from civilian-military regimes and many of these personal income taxes Act were done by the military.
“Just like for instance I do not agree that national minimum wage should be under the federation, I think minimum wage should be done by each state according to the level of income.
“If you look at the 1963 constitution, minimum wage was not in the inclusive list, it was added during the military rule.
“There are number of laws that were enacted during the military rule and there is a need to look at them and do something about them.”
On his part, Abdulfatah Ahmed, governor of Kwara state, said the current situation in the country calls for the states to increase the revenue generating capacities because it is clear that the new minimum wage is coming with an added responsibility.
“So I think as much as we are looking at the minimum wage issue, which of course we feel is imperative at this time,” he said.
“It should also be looked at alongside the capacities to generate revenue and that is why this platform that has been created by the Nigeria Governor’s forum serves a good one for us to see on a peer review platform how best practices can be benchmarked across all states and increase our capacity to generate revenue.”
Photo Credit: Cable