Minimum wage: Private sector okays N30,000 as govt, labour disagree

OrderPaperToday – Nigeria’s organized private sector under the aegis of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has agreed to peg minimum wage for N30,000 per month.

This is as the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr. Chris Ngige, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Mr. Abdul-azeez Yari, and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Mr. Ayuba Nwagba disagreed on the figure.

According to the representative of NECA who spoke at the public hearing on the minimum wage bill organized by the House of Representatives Monday, the private sector fully concurs with the figure of N30,000.

“I am here on behalf of my president and members of the Organised Private Sector
asking the owners of businesses in Nigeria and part of the tripartite committee on the national minimum wage to fully support the N30,000 recommendation by the tripartite committee as submitted to the President,” she said.

Speaking against the figure however, Mr. Ngige told the hearing that the N30,000 minimum wage was just a mere recommendation of the tripartite committee so therefore it was not binding because the federal government proposed N27,000 as what they would be able to pay.

According to him: “I would like to clear some misunderstanding and misconceptions about this this whole minimum wage thing because there’s no need for semantics. Therefore, what has been proposed as national minimum wage does not preclude those who are willing to pay above the threshold.

“As it stands even though the government is paying 18,000 as minimum wage states like Edo, Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Rivers are paying above the threshold.

“Let me also put it on record that we didn’t approve dual minimum wage.  I want this committee to note that what we have done is in consonance with  section 34 of the second schedule of 1999 constitution as amended. However, I want to to bring to the fore the angle of the tripartite national committee on minimum wage recommendation  is not cast in stone, so for people to call it an agreement is a misnomer.”

But Mr. Wabba disagreed with the minister, explaining that “before the union arrived at N30,000, states and private sector submitted different minimum wage proposal in which a state even proposed N37,000 but after considering the economic situation, the union agreed that the minimum wage be N30,000 to enable all to afford.”

He gave a breakdown of how the union arrived at N30,000 minimum wage per month, saying the figure translates to N1,000 per day for a worker and N50 per day for every family in the case feeding.

On hispart, Mr. Yari called on the federal government to review the revenue sharing formula in order to allow states meet up with current demand of the N30,000 minimum wage.

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