By Our Reporter
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has inaugurated two committees namely, the Committee on the Implementation of the National Minimum Wage and the Committee on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Engineer Sule inaugurated the two committees at a ceremony which held at the Lafia Government House on Tuesday.
The Governor said the national minimum wage committee, consisting of government, as well as labour officials, was mandated to study the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act, make necessary consultations and recommend to government a workable template for implementation in Nasarawa State.
Similarly, the Governor explained that the Committee on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was inaugurated as part of the determination of his administration to improve the revenue profile of the state to facilitate execution of projects and programmes for the development of the state.
He stressed further that the minimum wage committee was inaugurated also in order to improve the welfare of public servants, who he said, are the cornerstone for the implementation of government policies and programmes.
While noting that Nasarawa State has always been in the forefront on the issue of implementation of the National minimum wage in the country, Engineer Sule pointed out that since the passage of the new National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act in April this year, government has continued to make consultations with major stakeholders, including the organised labour on how to come up with a sustainable strategy for the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage for workers from Grade Levels 01-06 and consequential adjustment for workers of Grade Levels 07-16.
“The Committee, while carrying out its assignment, should be guided by the revenue accruals to the State vis-à-vis its ability to pay the Minimum Wage. In this wise, this Administration is ready to open its book of account to serve as a guide to the Committee towards making appropriate recommendations to Government,” Engineer Sule said.
The Governor maintained that with the inauguration of the committee on internal revenue, government is putting a machinery in place to reinvigorate the revenue generating capacity of government to finance development projects.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity to appeal to officials of the state revenue board charged with issuing of receipts not to abuse the trust vested in them by short changing the state through pocketing part of the revenue accruing to the state.
He also called on workers in the state not to view the decision to set up the committees as intension to cause hardship on the citizens of the state, urging for cooperation to enable the committees discharge their assignments.
The national minimum wage committee which has 24 members comprising of 11 government officials and 13 representatives of organized labour in the state is to be chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, while the committee on internal revenue which has 15 members has the state Commissioner Special Duties (Revenue), Mohammed Bashir Aliyu as chairman.
According to the Governor, the committee on the implementation of the new minimum wage is to be guided by its terms of reference which include, obtaining and studying the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act, 2009 and the Consequential Adjustments in the Salaries of Employees in the Federal Public Service Arising Therefrom as a guide for the assignment.
Obtaining and studying copies of agreements reached between the Federal Government and the Organized Labour in line with the consequential adjustment/increase in the salary structures of selected professions in the areas of health, academia and public service.
Also, to develop a template for the implementation of the New National Minimum Wage Salary Structure in Nasarawa State, among others.
On its part, the internal revenue committee is to be guided by its terms of reference which include identifying all sources of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state within the confines of the law and workout mechanisms of harnessing these revenues.
Develop a database of all Internally Generated Revenue sources in the state, as well as device and monitor the collection of the Internally Generated Revenue from all sources and ensure their remittance to the Treasury Single Account TSA) of the state, among others.
The comittee on the national minimum wage, according to the Governor, has three weeks within which to submit its reports.