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Minimum Wage: Pay FAAC Allocations Of Defaulting States To Workers, TUC Tells FG

While the TUC demanded N447,000 as the new monthly minimum wage per worker, the NLC requested N794,000 per head.


FILE: TUC President Festus Osifo

 

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says it is designing a clause in the framing of a new minimum wage that will sanction state governments who fail to pay the revised minimum wage when approved.

TUC President, Festus Osifo, made this known on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.

He said the sanction will require that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) directly pay workers in states where governors default on the payment of the new minimum wage when agreed on by labour unions, federal and state governments as well as the organised private sector.

“We are designing a system as part of this new minimum wage negotiation on sanctioning. That when a new minimum wage is passed, there must be sanctions to governors that are not being responsive, may be their FAAC allocations, may be the Federal Government can pay some monies directly to the workers instead of giving it to the states,” the TUC boss said.

 

 

Osifo said the current minimum wage of N30,000 can no longer cater for the wellbeing of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which will expire by April, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The Act is to be reviewed every five years to meet up with contemporary economic demands of workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC have at various times called on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to hasten the upward review of wage awards.

Earlier in January, the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage with a mandate to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for the country.

While the TUC demanded N447,000 as the new monthly minimum wage per worker, the NLC requested N794,000 per worker.

Osifo said inflation has affected the cost of living for an average Nigerian worker, noting that state governors can afford to pay every public servant N447,000 because they now get more monthly FAAC revenue allocation by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

The TUC boss said, “This is a demand that we have put forward. Look at the states, as at April (2023), what was shared as Federal Allocation was somewhere around N400bn but as at last month (February), what was shared was close to N2trn.”

According to FAAC, the three tiers of government shared N1.15 trillion last month and not N2trn.

Continuing, Osifo said, “So, what that means is that the portion of money that is accruable to states has grown up astronomically. And majority of that money is attributable to the exchange rate.

“If the money that are accruable to states from the Federal Account is about times four or times five today, most of the state governors should be able to do much more.

“What we are asking is that these state governors, they must be responsive. Beyond the money they share in Abuja, Nigeria is a blessed country, these governors must be up and doing, they must put on their thinking caps.”