President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has claimed that it would be difficult for the Nigerian government to peg the new proposed minimum wage at N100,000.
Onanuga, who stated this on Monday night during an Arise TV interview monitored by SaharaReporters, stated that the country’s current financial strength indicated that both the federal and state governments would be unable to pay their employees’ salaries if N100,000 or more was eventually approved as the new minimum wage in the country.
The presidential aide buttressed his assertion with the fact that most state governors were even currently struggling to pay the present minimum wage.
He said, “Let me tell you the last time it was done under President Buhari when the wage was increased to N30,000 per month. Till today, 26 state governments could not pay it, out of 36, Only 10 are paying.
“The rest have not paid the whole rate or maybe they’ve just improved a bit. But mostly, according to the people who have monitored it, 26 state governments are unable to comply. Whatever the government wants to do now, even if we increase wages to 100,000 naira. Will the Federal Government be able to pay?
“When you look at the financial position of the governments. Look at the last budget. Look at what the government inherited. Low revenue. Very high domestic and foreign debt. Repayment of a debt consuming, according to Buhari Budget, 97% of our revenue. This country was already broke. Having removed the subsidy, the government is hoping that the pressure on our finances will reduce and it is already reducing. If you look at the budget, the deficit is going to be about N6trillion compared to N14trillion that the Buhari government had planned for 2023.”
Meanwhile, SaharaReporters had reported how Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress said that organised labour might demand up to N1million as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers if the rising inflation remains unchecked.
Ajaero had said the demand of the organised labour would be determined by the cost of living which has skyrocketed since President Bola Tinubu came to power following the removal of fuel subsidy and other policies.
The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had also last Thursday issued a 14-day strike notice to the Nigerian government.
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