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Minimum Wage Increase With Stagnant Productivity Has Serious Economic Implications – Rewane

The Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, says increasing the country’s minimum wage without corresponding productivity has serious economic implications for Nigeria.


Rewane stated this on Channels Television’s Business Morning segment of Sunrise Daily breakfast programme on Thursday.

He warned that increasing the country’s minimum wage from ₦30,000 without an increase in productivity is tantamount to printing more money which could cause inflationary pressure.

He cited the Minimum Wage Act 2019 signed by then President Muhammadu Buhari which exempted employees in firms employing less than 25 employees, from the receipt of the current ₦30,000 wage. The 2019 Act, which expired in April 2024, should be reviewed every five years to meet up the contemporary economic demands of workers.

Rewane said, “As long as you employ more than 25 people, you are bound by law to pay the minimum wage, and failure to pay the minimum wage is an offence punishable by an N75,000 fine, and N10,000 every day that you do not comply. The penalties are quite huge.

So, it is something that we need to consider as the total wages paid in the country versus the people’s productivity and output, versus the people’s wealth.

The thing about the minimum wage is that it has serious implications when you increase wages by certain magnitudes, productivity is stagnant because of power and other infrastructural bottlenecks, and at the same time, you are compelled to begin to find out how to fund it (minimum wage) because an increase in wage without an increase in productivity, which is tantamount to printing money, has long time implications for the economy.

Time is not on Nigeria’s side right now. It is an emergency. The Federal Government and everybody have to come together very quickly or else it goes out of hand.

In his Democracy Day speech on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu assured the Organised Labour that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage for workers would soon be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

The President would make a decision on the ₦62,000 proposal of the government and private sector side; and the ₦250,000 demand of the Organised Labour.

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