Reps demands urgent review of minimum wage

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has thrown it weight behind the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on workers’ call for upward review of the minimum wage in line with economic realities.

The lawmakers resolved that the President Muhammadu should direct the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to commence forthwith the process of negotiating an upward review of the current minimum wage rates.

The resolution is sequel to a motion moved by Zubairu Bungudu (APC, Zamfara) on Thursday during plenary session.

Bungudu observed that any industrial action by the labour union has the potential of derailing the nation from the path of economic recovery and called on the federal government to honor all existing commitments with Labour leaders.

He expressed concern that “despite the Labour Unions having submitted names of their nominees and making several requests for commencement of the review process, the Government has yet to respond positively to the requests.”

The lawmaker stated that a combination of high inflation and weak naira exchange value have eroded the purchasing power of fixed income earners in the country who happen to be the bread winners to millions of jobless and aged dependents.

Contributing to the motion, Beni Lar (APC, Plateau), stated that the 2011 minimum wage set at N18,000 does not reflect the reality on ground and pointed to the cost of a bag of rice which she said is more than the current minimum wage to buttress her argument.

Also adding his voice to the call for wage review, Aminu Shagari (APC, Sokoto) called for proactive measures that would forestall industrial action by labour, describing the situation as worrisome, noting that workers in Nigeria are unable to pay school fees or even put roof over their heads.

The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, directed the committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to ensure implementation.

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