UPDATE: Senate approves N30, 000 as worker minimum wage
Following the passing of the new National Minimum Wage Act 2019 by the Senate on Tuesday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) wants the government to commence the implementation of the new national minimum wage before the 2019 workers day celebration and give workers good course to celebrate this year.
NLC also commended the Senate for passing the bill into law, following the footstep of the House of Representatives which had earlier passed the N30, 000 as new national minimum wage.
The Nigeria Governors Forum had earlier said that they will not be able to pay N30,000 as minimum wage, offering to pay N24,000 instead while President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded N27,000 to the National Assembly as minimum wage.
Both chambers of the National Assembly set up special adhoc committees headed by the Deputy Senate President for the Senate Committee and Deputy Speaker for the House of Representatives committee to conduct public hearing and submit reports for consideration.
However, the House of Representatives immediately passed the bill into law before embarking on break for the 2019 general election, while the Senate passed the bill at its sitting on Tuesday.
Acting President of the NLC, Comrade Najeem Yasin said even though the bill has been passed by both chambers, the battle for the minimum wage was not yet over, saying workers will not rest until the bill is signed and implemented.
He said; “We commend the senate for the quick passage. But it is not yet over because we want them to make sure that the process gets to the logical conclusion and for the quick implementation of that N30, 000. Nigerian workers are happy and commends them.
“We stand by the N75, 000 punishment for employers who fail to implement the law which has been passed. 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.
“We want them to start implementing it before the May Day celebration so that Nigerian workers can have good reasons to celebrate.”
However, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance, on the same date Senate approved the bill, and hinted that the Federal Government was considering, among others, an upward review of the Value Added Tax to enable it to fund the new national minimum wage.