Amid calls for a needed increase in the N30,000 national minimum wage, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has disclosed that his and other ministers’ monthly salary is N942,000 after taxation.
Ngige, who was speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, also said they don’t have allowances as ministers except duty allowance when they have to travel for work.
“My salary is N942,000 a month. My salary with my PA — gross total after tax — my feeding, my transport, the transport of one PA, the salary of my gardener, my cook, they are all consolidated. After heavy taxation, they pay me N942,000.
“Every minister you see, that is what it is; special advisers earn around that amount too. The allowances are not anything, we don’t have any allowances except if you travel. You can get duty tour allowance like every other public officer,” Ngige said.
He added that the travel allowance the ministers receive was recently reviewed alongside that of permanent secretaries among others.
“It was reviewed to N100,000 for a minister, and I think ministers of states, N75,000; permanent secretaries, N70,000, and down the line. Level one, everybody else’s own was reviewed, not only our own,” he said.
Asked why the government had not been able to bring down the unemployment rate in the country, which rose to 33.3 percent in 2021, Ngige argued that job creation was a responsibility of the private sector, not just the public sector.
He also blamed decline in foreign direct investment for growing unemployment.
“The point there is that job creation is a cross-cutting thing; it is not only for the public sector to do,” Ngige said.
“Everybody has it in mind that it is the government that creates jobs: ‘If we don’t work in federal ministry or government agency, we have not got a job.’ No, the private sector is there.”
The minister explained that the private sector has industries and workplaces where they create jobs through agriculture and other fields.
“It is not something for government alone. And I am telling you now, if the economy is not good, you will not have enough money in the system to ginger the system in such a way that jobs are created. That is the problem; foreign direct investment has gone down,” he added.