From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Ahead of the review of National Minimum Wage next year, National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) is monitoring the implementation of the existing N30,000 minimum wage by the federal, state and local government ministries, departments and agencies as well as government-owned enterprises.
Consequently, NSIWC said it is calling on affected agencies to co-operate with its monitoring officers.
The exercise which begins nationwide from Monday, January 23, 2023 is aimed at ascertaining the ability of the agencies to pay and the compliance of public and private employers/organisations that are liable in line with the provisions of the 2019 Minimum Wage Act.
It’s also to ascertain the payment of the monthly minimum wage of N30,000, and to ensure that employers keep adequate records of wage/conditions of service of employees.
A statement by the Head, Public Affairs, Emmanuel Njoku, said that the exercise will also enlighten the public and private employers/organisations on the economic benefits in adhering to the payment of the National Minimum Wage.
It will also help in obtaining baseline data on remuneration policies and practices of private sector organisations in order to enrich the commission’s data bank on staff compensation.
The exercise, according to the statement, will enable the commission obtain information that will aid the process of the next year’s review of National Minimum Wage.
According to Njoku, the exercise will cover the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The monitoring team members are drawn from key stakeholders, including, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning, Head of Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Budget Office of the Federation and National Bureau of Statistics.
Recall that the Labour Act of 2004 set the standard for the minimum amount of naira a worker in Nigeria is supposed to make. In 2004, the minimum wage was put at N5,500.00 per month. In 2011, the National Minimum Wage Act of 2011 set the minimum wage to N18,000.00 per month.
Also, in 2019, the current minimum wage of N30,000.00 per month became effective.
Meanwhile, amidst strong agitations for higher revenue allocation for states and local governments, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), yesterday, assured agitators that it has carried out a review of Vertical Allocation Formula and submitted to the president.
Speaking at a programme to enlighten state and local government officials on data management and electronic data collection, in Abuja, the chairman of RMAFC, Mohammed Bello Shehu, disclosed that the Commission has equally commenced the process of reviewing the horizontal revenue allocation formula.
The horizontal revenue allocation formula is the sharing of federation account revenue among states and local governments in line with the principles, factors and proxies stated in the constitution. Also, the vertical allocation formula denotes the sharing arrangement among states and local governments including Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Considering the above, the commission deems it necessary to organise a programme to enlighten the officials of states and local governments on the electronic platform for data collection for the review of the current indices used in the horizontal allocation formula” he said.
Shehu noted that the 1999 constitution empowers the commission to review, from time to time, the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities, provided that any formula which has been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.
In his remarks, the Federal Commissioner and Chairman, Indices and Disbursement Committee of RMAFC, Dr Chris Akomas, explained that the sensitisation workshop is geared towards the review of the indices used for the horizontal sharing of revenue based on the formula template which has to do with the review of the proxies, factors and assigned weights.
Earlier, the Benue State Commissioner of Finance, Honourable David Olufu had pushed for more allocations for states, because, according to him, majority of the projects reside in the sub-nationals.
“The federal government should get less allocation than the states because the sub-nationals have a lot to do,” he said.
Similarly, the President of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Honourable Kolade David Alabi, noted that the RMAFC should save the local governments from extinction. He said that more funds should be allocated to the local governments.
“For fairness, local governments should be represented in Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC),” he said.