The protracted tussle over what constitutes the appropriate minimum wage that have continually existed between the Nigerian labor union and the government has finally been laid to rest, this feat was achieved when the Senate passed the final reading of the National Minimum Wage Bill, it is expected that the President will sign it into law.
Recall that in the heat of the debate of what was best for the nation’s minimum wage, while the federal government recommended N27,000 last January through a bill it sent to the National Assembly, the Nigeria Governors Forum NGF, insisted that N24,000 was a more realistic sum, expectedly labor refused both packages bluntly, but reports reaching flawlessview.com news desk revealed that the National Assembly approved the sum of N30,000.
To make this new law workable, the lawmakers urged the Federal Government to review the present revenue sharing formula otherwise the implementation of the minimum wage at the state and local government levels will not be possible.
Earlier, presenting the 18-clause report, the Edo North Senator, said that the N5,000 fine earlier stipulated in clause 3 (1) of the Bill against failure to keep records of employees, has been increased to N75,000 to ensure compliance, he thus prayed the Senate to approve the N30,000 minimum wage as recommended by his committee.
Senate Minority Leader Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, in her contribution, agreed with all speakers on the bill on the need to review the revenue sharing formula, or else states and local governments would lack the required financial capacity to pay the new wage.
“The essence of formulating any policy or passing a bill is to see to its implementation for the required results. If revenue sharing formula is not reviewed in a way that will make the states and local governments to get more funds from the monthly allocations, implementing the new minimum wage may be difficult for them.”
Senator Barnabas Gemade representing Benue North East, in his contribution said that the review of the subsisting revenue sharing formula was long overdue. According to him
“Going by the volume of money and enormous amount spent by various state governors to buy votes in the just concluded general elections, no state can claim not to have the financial wherewithal to pay the new minimum wage.
“If a state through its governor, has billions to buy votes, the same state should through the governor, pay the new N30, 000 minimum wage to her workers.”
This good news has created a setting for a beautiful workers day celebration, the workers union are anxious to see the passage of a New National Minimum Wage Bill by the National Assembly being implemented with immediate effect. The NLC commended the Senate for passing the bill, following the footstep of the House of Representatives which had earlier passed it.
The acting NLC President Najeem Yasin is not popping champagne yet because according to him, the passage of the bill by both the upper and lower House of Assembly does not imply that the minimum wage battle was over, he therefore said that Nigerian workers would not rest until the bill has been signed into law and all parties involved have implemented it.
“We commend the senate for the quick passage. But it is not yet over because we want them to make sure that the process gets to the logical conclusion and for the quick implementation of that N30, 000. Nigerian workers are happy and commend them.
“We stand by the N75, 000 punishment for employers who fail to implement the law which has been passed. We have been fighting for this N30, 000 for a long time and the governors have been opposed to it. But now, it has been passed. Nigerian workers are now looking forward to the signing of the bill into law.
“We want them to start implementing it before the May Day celebration so that Nigerian workers can have good reasons to celebrate.”