The newly inaugurated Bismarck Rewane-led Technical Advisory Committee on the implementation of a National Minimum Wage recently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari should only facilitate the full implementation of the negotiated N30,000 not in any way undermine the implementation of the news minimum wage.
Comrade Issa Aremu, NEC member of NLC and labour representative on the National Income and wages commission made this disclosure on Wednesday.
He said to the extent that the new Technical Committee was mandated to anticipate the implications of the new minimum wage increase for the upward “salary review for all the workers who are already earning above the new minimum wage”, it was commendable.
He also observed that it was reassuring “that President Muhammad Buhari reaffirmed commitment to the new minimum wage with the discussion with organized labour to send the Executive bill to that effect before January 23rd.”
Comrade Aremu who is also the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate in Kwara state noted that while Bismarck technical Committee was made up of eminent experts but it was desirable that the representatives of organized labour were parties to the implementation of what he called “critical labour market issues like minimum wage and slavery review for other categories of workers earning above the minimum”. “Indeed ideally the best statutory committee to drive the mandate of the Bismarck Committee would have been National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC).” he said.
According to him the 25 year-old Commission provides technical input to the work of Tripartite Committees on the determination and fixing of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), made up of government, the Organised Labour and Organised Employers. The Commission he recalled had performed this singular role during the work of the Tripartite Committee of year 2000 that fixed the National Minimum Wage at N5,500, that of the year 2011 that fixed the National Minimum Wage of N18,000 per month.
The Executive Chairman of the Commission, Chief Richard Ebule served as a Member/Secretary to the Tripartite Committee inaugurated by Mr. President on 27th November 2017 which midwives the New National Minimum Wage of N30,000.
The Commission as in previous occasions, also provided the Secretariat to the Committee. Commission had provided technical inputs and compensation architecture that led to the creation of new pay structures for the Public Service.
Other members of the Riwane Committee include former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Dr Babatunde Fowler, ex-FIRS boss, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Dr Ayo Teriba, Chief Executive Officer among other and Prof. Akpan Ekpo. From the public sector are: Chairman FIRS, Dr Babatunde Fowler, Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, who is the secretary of the committee, representative of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, Permanent Secretary General Service Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Olajide Odewale, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Labour Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, and Solicitor General Of the Federation and Permanent Secretary ministry of Justice Mr. Dayo Apata. Others are Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, office of the Vice President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Economic Policy Dr. Joseph Nnanna, Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, Director General Debt Management Officer, Ms. Patience Oniaga, Director General National Institute of Social and Economic Research, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, Mrs. Aisha Hamad, Mamman Garba and Tunde Lawal.