President Muhammadu Buhari never mentioned any figure after receiving the Amal Pepple-led minimum wage panel report on the contentious issue, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has stated.
The clarification yesterday in Abuja followed claims that the president had reneged on his earlier acceptance of the N30,000 recommended by the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.A statement by the spokesman read: "The presidency is concerned over recurring reports alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari has reneged on earlier acceptance of the N30,000 recommended as the new national minimum wage by the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee.
"These reports are contrary to what transpired on Tuesday when the committee presented its report to the president."Adesina quoted his boss to have said: "In a way, both arguments are valid. I want to assure you all that we will immediately put in place the necessary machinery that will close out these open areas."Our plan is to transmit an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time. I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.
"As the executive arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I, therefore, would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks."He noted that the president acknowledged the concerns raised by government on affordability and labour's focus on meaningful increase.
Adesina went on: "From the above, and throughout the ceremony, the president never mentioned any figure. What he committed himself to was a new minimum wage, and only after the report of the committee has been reviewed by the executive and legislative processes of government and an appropriate bill presented to him for assent."
Meanwhile, the Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called on government to ensure a reasonable increase in salaries to make life more meaningful for workers.He advised organised labour to seek increment in terms of value of products, social life and commodities, and not just on quantum of money that always gets exhausted in less than a year.
He spoke yesterday while briefing newsmen on the 2018 Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) holding next week in Abuja.Also yesterday, pensioners in the country sought a new national minimum package.
The national president of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Dr Abel Afolayan, communicated the stance in a statement in Ado-Ekiti through the state chairman of the association, Elder Ayo Kumapayi. He explained that the request of the senior citizens was consistent with sections 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that provide for review of pension every five-year or together with any federal civil service salary increase.