Kaduna to Commence Implementation of New Minimum Wage in Sept

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Nasir El-Rufai

John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government is to commence the implementation of the new national minimum wage next month.

This was disclosed yesterday in a statement issued at the end of the State Executive Council meeting which was held at the Government House in Kaduna.

The statement signed by the Special Adviser to the state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Media and Communication, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, however, noted that with the development, the gross monthly wage bill of the state has increased from N2.827 billion to N3.759 billion, representing 33 per cent increase.

The federal government had late last year approved N30, 000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants.

The federal government also said the implementation of the new wage should commence in the third quarter of 2019.

Adekeye said the State Executive Council deliberated on the minimum wage memo and unanimously approved the commencement of the implementation in September 2019.

The statement, however, noted that the huge increase in workers wage bill, including pension commitments, would take a substantial part of the state government’s expenditure.

It said meeting salary obligations and development objectives would further raise the pressure to expand and deepen revenue sources and collections in order for the government to live up to the responsibilities.

According to the statement, “The State Executive Council deliberated and approved that payment of the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustments to civil servants will begin from September 1, 2019.

“The executive council meeting, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, restated the commitment of El-Rufai to strengthen the public service and its capacity to deliver quality and responsive public service.

“The council deliberated on the minimum wage memo and unanimously approved commencement of the implementation in September 2019. “The executive council stated that commitment to the public service includes a desire to improve the standard of living of workers in the state. Pursuant to that, the Kaduna State Government launched a pay review process early in 2018.

“A cabinet committee was charged with exploring how the state government can sustainably improve public sector salaries.”

It added that “guided by the twin principles of ability to pay and sustainability, the state government considered several scenarios, bearing in mind the trend of internally-generated revenues and allocations from the federation account.

“Several salary scenarios were considered, and one option was identified as the most prudent.

“A final decision was suspended as negotiations for a new national minimum wage appeared to gather momentum.

“It was reactivated after the federal government announced the new national minimum wage in April 2019.

“Paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustments will increase the wage bill of the state government by 33 percent. Gross monthly salary outlay will rise to N3.759billion from the current N2.827billion.

“This almost N1billion monthly increase in the wage bill means that salary and pension commitments will take the lion’s share of state government expenditure.

“Meeting these salary obligations while meeting development objectives for citizens will further raise the pressure to expand and deepen revenue sources and collections.”

The statement further noted that going by the new wage structure, the lowest paid workers in the civil service will enjoy increments of as much as 67 per cent while middle-ranking officers from Grade 10 to 14 were awarded increments of 60 per cent.