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SENATE APPROVE #30,000 MINIMUM WAGE, INCREASE IN VAT BEING CONSIDERED

The Senate has passed the National Minimum Wage Bill, approving N30,000 minimum monthly wage for Federal and State workers but increase in VAT an option to be able to fund it.

The proposed new National Minimum Wage was presented to the National Council of State on Jan. 22 after which it was sent to the National Assembly.

The Federal Executive Council meeting also deliberated and approved the minimum wage.

Labour minister Chris Ngige had said presidency planned to transmit the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly on or before Jan. 23 in consonance with the agreement with labour.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said that the Federal Government was considering increasing Value Added Tax, to enable it fund the new national minimum wage.

Udoma stated this on Tuesday while appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance.

The Minister also told the panel headed by Senator John Owan-Enoh, that the Technical Advisory Committee on the minimum wage, will submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari this week.

He said, “The current minimum wage of N18,000 is really too low. It is difficult for workers to manage on that amount.

“The President supported a review, but it is important that as we are revising it, we should be able to fund it.

“It is in the light of this that we would be coming to you (Senate) because there may be the need to make some changes, especially the VAT, in order to fund the minimum wage once it is announced.”

The Senate on the same day, approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

This decision was reached after the upper chamber’s ad-hoc committee on new minimum wage headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena, submitted its report.

 

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