During a meeting on Monday, the Kaduna State Executive Council approved the payment of the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments to civil servants, expected to take effect from this weekend – September 1, 2019. This will make Kaduna the first state in Nigeria to implement the new N30,000 minimum wage.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Kaduna State Governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, revealed the development. “The Executive Council stated its desire to improve the standard of living of workers in the state,” Adekeye said.
Prior to this, the state government had launched a pay review process early in 2018 where a cabinet committee was formed with the obligation of exploring how the state can sustainably improve public sector salaries.
According to the governor’s media aide, the government considered several scenarios on sustainability and the ability to pay. The government also took into consideration the trend of internally generated revenues and allocations from the federation account in order to achieve this goal.
However, a final decision was suspended as negotiations for a new national minimum wage appeared to gather momentum. It was then reactivated after the Federal Government announced the new national minimum wage in earlier this year. President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new National Minimum Wage into law on April 18, 2019, but it has not been implemented since then.
Paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustments will reportedly increase the wage bill of the Kaduna state government by 33 percent. Gross monthly salary outlay will rise to N3.759 billion from the current N2.827 billion. This almost N1 billion monthly increase in the wage bill means that salary and pension commitments will take the lion’s share of state government expenditure.
Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who chaired the meeting, noted that the decision to effect the new minimum wage was inspired by the commitment of Governor Nasir El-Rufai to strengthen the public service and its capacity in order to deliver quality and responsive service.