FG speaks on increasing N-power stipends

The office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Afolabi Imoukhuede, says N-Power beneficiaries are already earning the minimum wage and should not expect any increment at this period.

The office of the SSA on Job Creation in an interview with Concise News said ” N-Power beneficiaries “are earning more than the minimum wage before it was adjusted.”

It would be recalled that a state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kolapo Olatunde (Ekiti) announced on Monday, August 26 that the Federal Government would commence payment of the long-awaited new minimum wage from September 2019.

In light of this, President Buhari’s aide, Afolabi Imoukhuede, was contacted by Concise News to ascertain when the minimum wage will be effected for beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme.

“I don’t think there is a need for your question, because the N-Power programme has been on now for above two years.

“And right from inception, they’ve always been earning above minimum wage already.

“They were earning that even when the minimum wage was eighteen (thousand naira).

“So they’ve always been earning above the minimum wage.

“The minimum wage right now is thirty, right? That’s what they (NLC) are trying to push for right?

“If they are earning more than the minimum wage before it was adjusted, then, I don’t think there is a need for your question.”

When told the expectation is that, considering the minimum wage affects everyone under the payroll of the Federal Government, remuneration ought to be reviewed across the board, he says:

“No, it doesn’t work that way, sorry.

“While the minimum wage was eighteen, they were already earning thirty. That’s almost twice whatever the minimum wage was.

“So, they’ve been earning minimum wage long before anyone else started earning.

“It cost a lot of money to run the programme and I don’t think government is going to adjust that (stipends).

“Even if that adjustment will come, it is going to come according to the fund available to the government.

“And right now, the government went way above even what Labour were demanding for, and started them up with thirty, which was way more than what (some) permanent staff in many ministries were even earning as minimum wage at that point in time.

“I think they are already earning the minimum wage. The scheme complied with the minimum wage right from start.”

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