6th July, 2011
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala today said that the N18,000 minimum wage is payable. She made the observation while answering questions before the Senate in Abuja, Nigeriaâ€™s capital city.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was Finance Minister during the tenure of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, noted that she was aware that some state governors have issues to raise about their inability to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.
â€œThe issues could be ironed out with President Goodluck Jonathan,â€ she said, adding that the nationâ€™s economy could sustain the minimum wage.The former managing director of the World Bank said there was the need for government to ensure that the present recurrent expenditure of 74 percent is reviewed to pave the way for more capital expenditure.
Okonjo-Iweala said the country is thinking of investing in the power sector, agriculture, rail and other areas where employment could be creatd for the teeming youth.
Speaking on why the refineries were not functioning after government had spent millions of naira on its turn around maintenance (TAM), Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said she could not say why the refineries remained in bad shape after much money had been spent on them.
She said maybe petroleum engineers or the minister of Petroleum Resources will be able to explain better.
Her screening was ongoing as at press time.