By Monday Akpan
As part of the efforts toward improving the standard of living of Nigerian workers, the federal government is committed to an increase minimum wage for her workers.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma who restated this during a news conference in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital said already some provisions had been made for it in the 2019 budget while a high powered technical committee had been set up to advice on ways to handle the issue.
This according to the minister include to ensure that the attendant wage adjustments for those already over the minimum wage can be funded without increasing the level of borrowing as well as implement those consequential adjustments in such a manner as to minimize their inflationary impact. Already Senator Udoma assured that President Muhamadu Buhari had transmitted the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly NASS who were currently working on it and that the House of Representatives had passed it but still has to be considered by the senate. He reiterated that any recommendations from the Presidential Technical Committee requiring legislation would also be submitted to NASS for their consideration.
Speaking on the Economic Recovery and growth plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020, the Minister stated that government established Nigeria industrial policy and competitiveness advisory council as a vehicle for partnering with the private sector on the industrialization agenda as well as adopt a 22 –point fiscal sustained plan with the states to encourage discipline in the management of state finances.
Still on economy, the minister hinted that the economy was on a positive growth path after exiting recession in 2017 and other macro-economic indicators had also witnessed significant improvements. The Minister gave a breakdown of the National economy thus: “the real GDP has improved from -2.34% in 2016 to 1.17% 2017 and to 1.81% in 2018. According to the Minister, Century Newsfront also gathered that the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on GDP shows that real GDP grew further by 2.38% in 2018 stronger than 2.35% growth inherited by the administration in 2015. For the full year 2018, real GDP stood at 1.93% higher than 0.82% in 2017.
He assured that the current real GDP growth performance was most encouraging and showed a movement in a very positive direction, especially with regard to the non-oil sector performance and hoped that with the Buhari administration continuity, commitment to the implementation of the ERGP, Nigerians should expect the economy to further strengthen in 2019 and over the medium term.