New Wage Commencing In April, FG Allocates N24 Trillion For Salaries the Federal Government has officially announced that a new minimum wage structure will be implemented starting April 1, 2024. Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, revealed in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja that the current N30,000 minimum wage will conclude at the end of March 2024.

    This announcement coincided with the analysis of the 2024–2026 Fiscal Framework budgets, indicating a total expenditure of N24.66tn on salaries for the years 2024, 2025, and 2026. Additionally, following President Bola Tinubu’s removal of the fuel subsidy on May 29, 2023, the Federal Government agreed to compensate its workers with a payment of N35,000 each to alleviate the impact of the subsidy removal.

    new wage

    Despite the Federal Government’s implementation of the N35,000 wage as a temporary measure following the removal of the fuel subsidy, organized labor insists that this wage award is provisional. Labor representatives argue that the minimum wage should undergo a comprehensive review in 2024.

    The negotiation process between the Federal Government’s team and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council commenced on October 18, 2019, culminating in the agreement to implement the N30,000 minimum wage after extensive deliberations. Labor unions confirmed on Thursday that negotiations have begun, highlighting that, in accordance with the country’s labor law, the minimum wage should undergo a review every five years.

    Recently, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, emphasized, “It is widely known that the review of the national minimum wage is a statutory obligation expected to occur in 2024.”

    In a parallel statement, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed, conveyed to The PUNCH that the enhanced take-home pay was intended to supersede the temporary palliative measure implemented by the government, aiming to alleviate the challenges resulting from the removal of the fuel subsidy.

    New wage regime

    He explained, “Certainly, there is a new wage regime scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2024. The palliatives were strategically targeted to alleviate economic hardships until then. In our discussions with Labor, we emphasized that the wage issue requires careful consideration. A committee, including representatives from Labor, will be established to address this.

    “The committee is in the process of formation, and ongoing discussions are being held with Labor. As the current wage regime concludes by the end of March, we anticipate the commencement of a new wage structure in April. It is under this new wage regime that a comprehensive salary structure for workers nationwide will be established. We anticipate similar actions from the private sector and state governors.”

    minimum wage words showing through magnifying glass
    minimum wage words showing through magnifying glass

    An authoritative figure from the NLC, in a discussion with The PUNCH, revealed that organized labor has commenced discussions with the government.

    He conveyed, “With the expiration of the current minimum wage on April 1, 2024, there is a unanimous agreement to establish a national wage negotiation committee. This committee will include representatives from all relevant parties.”

    The new minimum wage will also take effect in 2019 according to Benson Upah, the NLC’s Head of Information, who stated as much in an interview with The Punch.

    N24.66tn for salaries

    As organized labor advocates for a new minimum wage, an examination of the 2024–2026 Fiscal Framework reveals that the Federal Government plans to allocate 29.18 per cent of its total budgets for 2024, 2025, and 2026 to salaries, overheads, and pensions.

    The combined budget for these three categories amounts to N24.66tn, representing 29.18 per cent of the total budget of N84.50tn for the three years.

    President Tinubu
    President Tinubu

    Anticipating salary increases in 2024 amidst challenging economic conditions, the allocated funds for personnel costs and related expenses are expected to surge by 8.51 per cent from the 2023 budget of N7.36tn to N7.99tn in 2024. Subsequently, it is projected to increase by 2.41 per cent to N8.18tn in 2025 and further by 3.77 per cent to N8.49tn in 2026. This amount is notably lower when compared to the N23.37tn (27.65 per cent of the total budget) earmarked for capital expenditure during the same period.

    This pattern reflects the continuation of a trend where high overheads take precedence over efforts to curb fiscal deficits. As of the end of September 2023, the Federal Government had allocated 29.76 per cent (N3.78tn) of its total spending (N12.7tn) to salaries.

    Explore For More News Updates