Minimum Wage: Concerns Trail Akume’s Request For N1bn C’ttee Work

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Concerns have trailed the request for N1 billion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Senator George Akume, to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the workings of a 37-man national minimum wage committee.
It was however reported that President Tinubu has approved half of the budget N500,000,000 for the SGF, as contained in some leaked memos.
Vice President Kashim Shettima had on January 30, 2024 inaugurated the Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A letter dated 18th January 2024, addressed to President Tinubu with the title, ‘Request For Approval Of Funds And Inauguration of the Tripartite Committee On National Minimum Wage,’ reads in parts: “This memorandum seeks your approval of the following in respect of the above subject matter: The release of the sum of One Billion Naira only for the above exercise. This has been scaled down from N1.8 billion.”
“…The 26th January 2024 for the inauguration of the Committee. All relevant documents are hereby attached.
“The New Minimum Wage is expected to be ready by 1st April 2024 according to Law.”
It was, however, reported that a handwritten response from the president instructed the committee to cut down its budget by 50 percent and start with the approved sum of N500m.
When contacted, the Director, Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Mr Segun Imohiosen, said he was in a meeting and asked for a message, which he has not responded to as at the time of filing this report.
However, top officials in the OSGF and some members of the committee confirmed the authenticity of the leaked memos.
Reacting to the development on his X handle, a former federal lawmaker from Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani, said “The Minimum Wage Committee just allocated the maximum wage for themselves.”
Daily Trust Sunday reports that President Bola Tinubu approved the inauguration of a 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage with a mandate to recommend and look into the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage for the country.
PDP demands investigation
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded an investigation into the reported approval of N500 million as first installment of a N1billion allegedly approved by President Bola Tinubu for the inauguration of a 37-man Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba said the amount reportedly contained in a leaked memo was the height of financial recklessness by the present administration.
PDP said the approval for such a routine government activity like committee inauguration was the “height of profligacy, imprudence and financial recklessness which further validates PDP’s position that the Tinubu-led government is a cesspit of corruption where officials engage in brazen and reckless treasury-looting.”




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