Nigerian govt to implement new national minimum wage in third quarter of 2018
A new national minimum wage will be implemented from the third quarter of 2018, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said.
He disclosed this at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja on Monday.
According to the minister, “Well, we all know the economic situation of the country as of today. The negotiation committee has members from all the tripartite bodies, which means the government cannot force its way.
“The committee has received memoranda from all the critical stakeholders and should begin the implementation of a new minimum wage in the third quarter of this year.”
Earlier in the month, the NLC made a request to the tripartite committee on minimum wage to increase the wage to N56,000 for the least paid worker.
Also, the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, earlier in the month, said though no provision was made concerning the minimum wage in the 2018 budget, the Federal Government would prepare a supplementary budget that would take care of the increase in workers pay after the new minimum wage proposal has been approved.
Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, at the 40th anniversary celebration, said labour would resist the schemes of those who are working against the realisation of the new minimum wage within the government.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, assured the NLC that lawmakers were prepared to support the payment of living wages to workers in the country and encouraged them to negotiate on the worker’s living wages.
Punch newspapers reported that a statement by the speakers’ media office said,
“The major challenge facing the organised labour today is to negotiate a meaningful national minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
“I wish to lend the support of the House of Representatives to the ongoing efforts to secure not only a living wage for the Nigerian worker, but also to ensure that in retirement, workers are sufficiently taken care of.
“The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”
In October 2017, members of the House of Representatives called for a review of the current national minimum wage to at least N30,000.
The current minimum wage is N18,000 and was brought to effect in 2011 and lawmakers have argued that no Nigerian worker can survive on that.
At the anniversary on Monday, Mr. Wabba highlighted that the labour movement was ready to participate in the political activities of 2019.
He said the Labour Party will be resuscitated with a view to provide a veritable platform for labour activists to seek elective positions.
“It was because of this understanding that we created the Labour Party. We are not yet disillusioned with developments within the party as we are mindful of the obvious fact that each organisation has its peak and low periods in its natural process of growth.
“We, therefore, call for unity of its members and urge all workers to register, claim it, control and have it as their party.”
The president, Trade Union Congress, Bobboi Kaigama, also charged labour activists to develop more than just an interest in politics.
He said that it is only when labour wrestles power from career politicians that it would be empowered to better the lots of the working masses.