Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari would soon review the minimum wage tripartite committee report and make his decision known.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Ama Pepple-led Tripartite Committee had on Tuesday recommended N30,000 as the new minimum wage as demanded by organised labour.
President Buhari while receiving the report, promised to send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly on the recommendation as soon as possible for consideration and approval, but he was silent on whether he endorsed the N30,000 new wage.
When asked to clarify the position of government, Mohammed said the president will study the recommendation and get back to the Tripartite Committee.
“I think it was a recommendation. Mr. President will consider it and will make his views known in due course.”
When pressed further he replied: “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 states to pay, he 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 Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said minimum wage should be done by each state according to its level of income.
El-Rufai who spoke at the 2018 National Peer Learning event organised by the Nigeria Governors Forum (Forum) titled, “Mobilising domestic finance for development” in Abuja, emphasised that personal income tax should be collected by the states, and also stressed the need for the constitution to be reviewed so that some items could be removed from the legislative list.
On his part, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed said the current situation in the country calls for the states to increase the revenue generating capacities because it is clear the new minimum wage is coming with an added responsibility.
He added that the current revenue profile is not likely to carry the new minimum wage.
“So, I think as much as we are looking at the minimum wage issue, which of course we feel is imperative at this time, 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 Governors 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.”