By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udoma, says the Federal Government will go into negotiations with senior civil servants soon after the bill on the new National Minimum Wage is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Udoma said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday in Abuja to give explanations on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Paper.
He said the Executive would meet with relevant stakeholders on the matter as soon as it is signed into law.
“Once we announce the minimum wage, we now enter into negotiations with those who are above the minimum wage.
“So, we have to be prepared for that. We will be meeting with the finance committee on how best this minimum wage will be addressed both from the federal and the state governments.
“This is to ensure that the whole government apparatus is not just to pay salaries. It is important we are able to pay the minimum wage and still have enough resources to do infrastructure, health, agriculture and others,” he said.
The minister stressed that once the minimum wage becomes law, serious emphasis would be laid on productivity.
“As a result of agitation from the unions, the President set up a tripartite committee to look at the minimum wage. It is expected that every five years a review is done.
“We know that the N18,000 is too low and it will be difficult to manage with 18,000 and the president supported the review. It is, however, important that as we are reviewing it, we make sure that we can fund it.
“That is why we set up a committee. So, we will be coming to you as there may be some changes to make sure we can fund the minimum wage,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Senate and House of Representatives have approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. (NAN)