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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Senate endorses N30,000 minimum wage, demands immediate implementation - ITREALMS

The Senate on Tuesday endorsed N30,000 proposed as the new national minimum wage by Green Chambers, urging the Federal Government to commence the implementation without further delay so as to avoid another round of strike by workers before putting it into practice, reports ITREALMS.

The Senate session monitored in Lagos, the acting Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on National Minimum Wage Bill, Senator Francis Alimikhena, delivered the report saying that a fine of N75,000 has been imposed on firms that refused to comply with the wage payment.

The panel also recommended the urgent review of the revenue-sharing formula, to enhance states’ ability to pay the new minimum wage.

They also urged the Minister of Finance and her counterparts in the Budget and National Planning to as a matter of urgency, compute and forward to the National Assembly, for inclusion in the 2019 budget, the actual amount required for the new minimum wage.

Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, wondered why the fine for non-compliance jumped from N5, 000 as recommended by the executive to N75,000, while commending the Federal Government for fulfilling its promise to the Nigerian workers and enjoined the organised labour to reciprocate the gesture by being more productive.

Senator James Manager described as unfortunate, the fact that some state governments had yet to apply the N18, 000 minimum wage.

In her contribution, the Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, noted that the review of the revenue-sharing formula would enable more state governments to pay the new wage.

Senator Barnabas Gemade pointed that the bill was passed promptly to show that the National Assembly was committed to the welfare of the workers.

Senator Andrew Uchendu, said the tripartite committee should hold regular meetings with a view to constantly review the minimum wage.

Under the current sharing arrangement, the Federal Government takes 56 per cent, states receive 24 per cent while the local governments share the remaining 20 per cent.

The Senate wholesomely approved recommendations contained in the report.

In his submission, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, insisted the Federal Government should pay the new minimum wage without delay rather than waiting for the workers to go on strike to demand the implementation.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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