By Soni Daniel – Editor, Northern Region
With the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the new minimum wage of N30,000, there is no other obstacle excepting or postponing state governments, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) from executing the new pay structure, the Federal Government clarified last night.
President Muhammadu Buhari
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who made the clarification told Sunday Vanguard that there was no other requirement on the part of the government for the commencement of the payment of the new wage.
The minister’s clarification came in the midst of a report that his office was yet to discharge a specific instrument approving the payment, the absence of which would unduly delay the takeoff date of the new pay.
Malami told our journalist that the signing into law by Mr. President completed the process of implementing the new wage, which takes effect from this month (April).
According to the minister, the minimum wage law does not authorize the office of the AGF to do anything more for payment to commence once the President has given his assent to the bill.
He stated: “The incidence, operation, and application of a law is automatic except if generally expressed by its commencement provision. The minimum wage law is automatic and conceives no further activity with respect to the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation, not having been so commanded by the empowering law.
“Bureaucratic processes are not rooted in the action or inaction of the Attorney General, legal obligation having arisen by the commencement of the law upon assent by the President.
“Ministries, Departments, and agencies of government are automatically expected to execute their very own side of statutory commitments in offering impact to the law that has produced results and stays appropriate, legitimate and subsisting.
“This is a law the application of which commences upon assent by the President”. The report, yesterday, had said that the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission had blamed the delay on paying the new wage on non-release of a copy of the Act to enable it to prepare the memo for state governments to commence payment.
The Chief Press Secretary of the office, Mr Emma Njoku, additionally cited as saying that they were all still expecting a signed duplicate of the Act assented to by Mr. President.
In any case, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, was cited as saying that there was no issue to be dealt with again once the President had directed that the new pay should start in April.