- The federal government explained that the proposed N27,000 minimum wage is for state and private workers
- Chris Ngigie said this proposed amount should be for the lowest employees
- The minister of labour and employment said those capable of paying more than the proposed wage should do so
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment says the national minimum wage of N27, 000 is standard for all workers, but the Federal Government will pay federal workers N30,000.
The minister made this known in a statement signed by lliya Rhoda, assistant director of Press, of the ministry in Abuja on Saturday, January 26.
According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari constituted a Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage in November 2018 to consider the issue and recommend a new national minimum wage.
He said the constitution of the committee was in consonance with the provisions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Nos.26,99 and 131 as well as guidance provided by the accompanying recommendations.
“In a bid to achieve a holistic coverage, the prescribed tripartite structure went beyond the requirements of tripartism to tripartite – in order to cover other stakeholders which included Nigeria Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
“Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).
“It should be noted that the output from the TCNMW was therefore never meant to be sacrosanct, but to provide a guide for the Competent Authority (The Government) to make final decision,” Mr Ngige said.
He said the ILO Conventions on minimum wage stipulated that each member state shall be free to decide the nature and form of the minimum wage fixing machinery and methods to be followed in its operations.
He said that ILO further provided that before the government took the final decision on the matter, there should be full preliminary consultations with representatives of organizations of employers, which the government did with TCNMW.
“The recommended new national minimum wage of twenty seven thousand naira (N27, 000) is for ALL categories of workers in Nigeria whether public or private sector and is so contained in the new national minimum wage Bill.
“The national minimum wage is for workers occupying the lowest rung of the remuneration ladder on Grade Level 1 step 1 and are the most vulnerable segment of Nigerian workers.
“It is of utmost importance to note that any public or private sector employer who is capable of paying more than the statutory N27, 000 should be ready to do so.
“The Federal Government has taken the lead in this direction by proposing to augment the N27, 000 by N3,000 to bring it up to Thirty Thousand (N30,000) for the least paid worker per month.’’
Mr Ngige said the Federal Government expected others in the public and private sectors to do the same, if the financial capacity permits, employers can pay more than N30, 000.
He noted that the matter of national minimum wage was in the Exclusive Legislative List as item No. 34 of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said it is the Executive arm of Government that has the responsibility to prescribe a new national minimum wage and send to the National Assembly (NASS) for legislative action and lastly to the President for assent.
The minister therefore called on the different groups interested in the contents of the 2019 national minimum wage bill already transmitted to NASS to get ready to make their views known at the public hearing.
Recall that lawmakers at the House of Representatives rejected the sum of N27,000 which was approved by the council of state as the new minimum wage, insisting that they support the N30,000 agreement reached by the government, organised labour and the private sector.
The legislators during plenary on Thursday, January 24, said that the sum of N30,000 was adopted as the new minimum wage by the tripartite committee, whose report was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, The Punch reports.
Shortly before deliberation on the bill, the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, read a letter by Buhari to the legislature, seeking an amendment to the minimum wage act 1981, to reflect a new minimum wage of N27,000.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng. We have upgraded to serve you better.
Minimum Wage: Is N30,000 Too Much for FG to Pay Workers? - Nigeria Street Gist | Legit TV