By Taiye Agbaje/Abuja
The National Assembly on Tuesday approved N160 billion for the new minimum wage for federal workers and payment of severance benefits to civil servants, in the 2019 budget.
The decision followed the unanimous endorsement of the 2019 Budget presentation by the lawmakers at separate plenaries which held simultaneously in both houses and presided over by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara at the National Assembly, Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Dec. 19 presented the 2019 Budget proposal of N8.83 trillion before the joint section of the National Assembly.
However, the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 2019 Appropriation Bill and jacked the budget to N8.92 trillion, an increase of N90 billion.
The salary increase and severance benefits were contained in the service-wide votes.
N5 billion was also provided for ”payment of outstanding death benefit to civil servants/police”.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Danjuma Goje, while addressing newsmen shortly after the budget passage, affirmed that the N160 billion was to fund the minimum wage increase and severance benefits as stipulated in item 90 of the report.
Goje, however, stated that if the amount budgeted failed to meet the demand, the Federal Government could present a supplementary budget to cover the shortfall.
NAN reports that the National Minimum Wage Bill, which was passed by the lower and upper house on Jan. 29 and March 19 respectively, was signed into law by President Buhari on April 18.
Mustapha Dawaki, Chairman House Committee on Appropriations said the budget will be transmitted to President Muhammmadu Buhari for his assent on Thursday