National News

FG To Adjust 2019 Budget To Accommodate New Minimum Wage

The Federal Government would send request to the National Assembly for adjustments to the 2019 budget to reflect ways of sourcing funds to pay the new national minimum wage which was approved by the Senate.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma made this known during an engagement with the Senate Committee on Finance on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

He revealed that government had plans to constitute a panel that would come up with ways of increasing revenues to meet up with the new minimum wage, adding that a new request is to be forwarded to the legislature in that regard.

He said the current budget size of N8.83 trillion may increase due to the adjustments to take care of the new minimum wage.

“It would be recalled that as a result of agitations from the unions that the President set up a tripartite committee to look at the minimum wage.

“Every five years, it is supposed to be reviewed. It has not been reviewed, even though there is no doubt that for both the Federal Government and states, it is a tough time to review wages.

“But the N18,000 is really too low. And it is difficult for people to manage on N18,000. So the President supported a revision, but it is important that as we are revising, we make sure that it can be funded. That is why we set up the Bismark Rewane Technical Committee.

“So we will be coming to you (National Assembly). There may be some changes maybe in VAT and other things. But we will be coming to you in other to make sure that we can fund the minimum wage.

“Not just fund the minimum wage but as you announce it, you now enter into negotiations with those above the minimum wage and we have to be prepared for that.

“It is something we are going to work closely with the Finance Committee on how best this minimum wage will be addressed, both from the Federal Government and the states to ensure that the whole government apparatus is not just paying salaries and nothing else. It is important that we are able to pay the minimum wage and still have enough resources to do infrastructure,” he said.‎‎

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