Sunday, February 17, 2019

National Council of State endorses N27,000 as New Minimum Wage

National Council of State endorses N27,000 as New Minimum Wage

The National Council of State on Tuesday endorsed N27,000 as new National Minimum Wage.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting,  disclosed that the Council endorsed N27, 000 as new National Minimum Wage.

He, however, said the Federal Government would pay its workers N30,000 as its Minimum Wage as demanded by organised labour.

The Minister revealed that the Bill on the New Wage of N27,000 would be transmitted to the National Assembly in the next 24 hours for passage into law.

According to him, the N27,000 is the benchmark for all employers of labour with more than 25 workers on their payroll, emphasising that no employer of labour with more 25 workers should pay less than the proposed N27,000.

“On the issue of National Minimum Wage, we have held series of consultations starting from the inauguration of the tripartite committee in November 2018, to the Federal Executive Council, the National Economic Council.

“Finally today, the Council of State and these three organs have permitted the President now to transmit to the National Assembly the New Minimum Wage Bill.

“This is in consonance with the fact that the issue of National Minimum Wage prescription is in the Exclusive List second schedule, item 34 and being on that List, it is not a job that can be done by the Executive alone.

“The President has to transmit a Bill and the National Assembly will take legislative action and return the Bill that has been so treated to the President for assent.

“The Bill will now amend the 1981 and 2011 act and the highlights are the figure of N27, 000 monthly has been approved for transmission to the National Assembly, frequency of review of the Bill is five years to get in consonance with the pension law of the Federation as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

“Exemptions to this act will be the establishments that are not employing people up to 25 (workers) in number and the various fines prescribed have also been altered,’’ he said.

The Minister, however, stated that the Federal Government had resolved to pay its workers N30,000 as the New National Minimum Wage while the state governments were free to negotiate with their respective staff.

The Organised Labour had insisted on a N30,000 Minimum Wage as proposed by the Ama Pepple Tripartite Committee, while the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) proposed N24,000.

The meeting, which lasted for about three hours, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Abdulsalami Abubakar and the former Head of the Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan.

Others, who attended the meeting include three former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Muhammadu Uwais, Alfa Belgore and Mahmud Mohammed.

However, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnogen, former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida and Yakubu Gowon were absent at the meeting.

The Council also observed a minute silence for late President Shehu Shagari.

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