Organised Labour hails Senate for passing new minimum wage

Helen Shok Jok, Abuja


The Nigerian Senate has been hailed for the passage of the new National Minimum Wage of thirty thousand Naira for workers in the country.

Reacting to the news of the Senate action, President, United Labour Congress  ULC Mr Joe Ajaero while speaking  to Voice of Nigeria on phone, commended the Senate for the passage of the Bill saying that a new national wage for the nation was long overdue.

Ajaero called on the federal government to ensure a speedy implementation of the wage insisting that the process should not be beyond March and April this year.

According to him, government should ensure that this year’s May Day should be a day to celebrate the implementation of a National Minimum Wage.

 “I want to say that by May 1, all employers of Labour should have implemented it,” he said.

Mr Amechi Asugwuni,  Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress NLC,  also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to follow what he called “the path of honour”  and immediately sign into law the new pay rise document once he receives it.

Revenue Sharing
He however, disagreed with call by the Senate for a review of the Revenue Sharing formulae which gave federal government 56 percent, States 24 and Local Government 20 percent.

He argued that the minimum wage bill was an independent bill which should not be subjected to adjustments in sharing formulae by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission.

According to him, such calls could further slow down the already overdue implementation of the new minimum wage.

Acting President of NLC, Mr Najeem Yasin, while commending the Senate commending the Senate called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign the bill into law.

“We want the federal government to ensure its implementation before the May Day celebration, which is the Workers Day celebration.

“Government should greet workers with the commencement of the implementation,” Yasin  said.

For the Senate whose action he said was in line with the will of the Nigerian people, the labour leader said,  “We commend the Senate for passing the minimum wage bill of N30,000 but the battle for the minimum wage is not yet over; workers will not rest until the bill is signed and implemented.

“ It is not yet over because we want them to make sure that the process gets to its logical conclusion and for the quick implementation of that N30,000.

“Nigerian workers are happy and commend them,”  he said.

Effective Sanctions
Najeem Yasin, who is also the National President of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), called on the federal government to ensure effective sanctions for employers who refused to implement the N30,000 National Minimum Wage.

“We have been fighting for this N30,000 for a long time and the governors have been opposed to it. But now, it has been passed. Nigerian workers are now looking forward to the signing of the bill into law,.

It would be recalled that the House of Representatives had earlier approved N30,000 as new National Minimum Wage before embarking on break for the 2019 general election.

The federal government after the meeting of the National Council of State, where the new national minimum wage issue was tabled, had forwarded N27,000 to the National Assembly even though the Nigeria Governors Forum had proposed N24,000.