Minimum Wage: FG, Labour agree on Jan. 23 for transmission of bill to NASS

The Federal Government has said that the National Minimum Wage Bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly on or before Jan. 23, 2019.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said this while speaking with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the leadership of organised labour on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ngige said that the federal government and the organised labour had signed a Memorandum of Understanding that on or before Jan. 23, the National Minimum Wage Bill would be sent to the National Assembly.

“On the part of the government, we are going to try to religiously implement all the processes that will enable us to transmit this bill within the stipulated time.

“We have a target time of January 23, and we hope that all things being equal, the executive will be able to do so.

“We will take on the statutory meetings of the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and the National Council of States to enable us to transmit the bill on the new national minimum wage.”

The minister, while commending labour for its cooperation and understanding, called for the withdrawal of the threat of industrial action, saying that it was no longer necessary.

Also speaking with newsmen, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba, said they had agreed that on or before Jan. 23, the bill would be transmitted to the National Assembly.

“We have agreed that the agreement reached should be documented and it should be signed by government representatives and organised labour; we thought that is a more firm commitment.

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“We believe with this, we can actually start following up the process; we have asked them to keep faith with the timeline so that it will be concluded, as the minimum wage issue has been on the table for the past two years.

“We also thought that after having submitted the report and also drafted a draft the bill, by now, we expected that it should have been submitted.”

He also noted that the NASS would resume from their recess on Jan. 16 and that since the legislators were desirous of ensuring that Nigerian workers earned a decent wage, they would also do the needful.

“We will shift our lobby to the NASS because once the bill is enacted, the money will be in the pockets of the workers.

“The issue of industrial relations is always addressed at the round-table.

We have been diligent in the whole process and workers have been patient.

“So, we are committed to the process and hope that the timeline will be respected.

“We will put this across to our organs and give them all the details contained in the Memorandum of Understanding,’’ Wabba said.

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