Reps fix public hearing on minimum wage for Monday after bill scales first, second reading

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Thursday passed for second reading the National Minimum Wage (amendment) Act 2011 to increase workers wage from N18,000 to N27,000 per month.

Recall that the National Council of State met on Tuesday to propose N27,000 after meetings was held severally between the the federal government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that N30,000 be agreed on.

An ad-hoc committee to be chaired by the Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun has therefore been constituted at plenary by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to enable public hearing on Monday and report submission on Tuesday following the passage of the bill by the House.
Before the resolution however, members reacted differently to the bill.
Deputy Whip of the House, Mr. Pally Iriase (APC, Edo) urged the House not to pass the bill in order not to see the House as a rubber stamp, adding that it should be well debated and transferred to it relevant committee.
“You and I know that the revenue formula is due for a review. N30,000 should be what the House should pass instead of the N27,000”, he said.
According to Mr. Adamu Chika (APC, Niger), the amount is grossly inadequate “because you and I know that with this increment, there will be increase in price of goods in the market.”
Other lawmakers in their contributions condemned the situation where the increment only affect the lower level workers saying everybody goes to the same market.
On his part, Mr. Tobi Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) argued that some states are still unable to pay workers despite the bailout fund from the federal government.
Mr. Okechukwu while suggesting what is obtainable for a required wage to be sustained said there have to be adequate legal framework.
Earlier, the Speaker Yakubu Dogara had read a letter from the President regarding the approval of the new national minimum wage of N27,000 by the Council of State.
Shortly after reading the letter, Speaker Dogara noted that N30,000 was not reflected in the letter sent to the National Assembly against the initial report by the media that it was approved.
He therefore directed that the bill be gazetted and slated for first and second readings immediately before a public hearing on Monday.

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