New Minimum Wage: FG to present proposal to NEC on thursday

The N30,000 new National Minimum Wage proposal will be presented on Thursday by the Federal Government to the National Economic Council for further consultations.

Mario Reporta learnt that the Federal Executive Council extraordinary meeting which ended in Abuja on Tuesday night came out with the resolution.

President Muhammadu Buhari  presided over the meeting at the Presidential Villa.

State governors, the Central Bank of Nigeria and some major Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government constitute the NEC.

After the NEC meeting, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, informed State House correspondents that deliberations centred on the minimum wage.

Mohammed did not give further details aside from saying that the government would meet with NEC for more talks.

He said, “Until after the meeting of the NEC, l cannot (give details) because it is work in progress, since it will also be discussed at the NEC meeting before we come out with the decision. Thereafter, we can address the media.”

The NEC is chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Last week, Buhari inaugurated a technical committee to guide the government on how to implement a new wage bill.

The inauguration of the committee came soon after the President also made a commitment to forward a bill on the new minimum wage to the National Assembly.

The Nigeria Labour Congress had however dismissed the FG’s committee, saying it does not have any bearing to the agreement signed with the Federal Government.

According to the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the President has the right to set up any committee, noting that none of the labour unions are members of the committee.

He, however, said that he was informed that the committee was strictly on their own to guide government on how to implement the minimum wage, adding, “so clearly if it is how to implement, we do not have problem with that.

Wabba also said that the advisory committee would not in any way affect the timeline of Jan. 23 agreement reached between organised labour and the Federal Government on the transmission of Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

He said: “The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige had told us that the committee is an internal process of the Federal Government.

”I think it is their own way of facilitating and mobilising their own resources for the implementation and also making sure that nothing is left undone and we do not have any problem with that.

“So, it is normal, I think, because initially we were thinking it is a committee that will renegotiate the new national minimum wage, but they said no, it is an internal process of government.

“So, it is not our problem, but essentially their own and it does not in any way affect our interest, the government has the right to set up any committee and we are not even members of that committee.”

You will recall that labour unions have been at logger heads with the federal govt. of Nigeria over its insistence that the N18, 000 minimum wage has to be reviewed upward.

This resultant face-off has resulted into protests with labour threatening to go on strike anytime soon if its demand is not met.



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