Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has approved a 29-member National Minimum Wage Committee to negotiate with labour unions and work out a new minimum wage.
Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige announced this at the end of the meeting in Abuja, and said members will be drawn from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Organised Private Sector and the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
Labour has tabled a minimum wage of N50,000, almost three times more than the present N18,000, being paid with difficulties by many states.
On Friday, Ngige had said FEC would review the report of the joint committee on the National Minimum Wage.
He said the 16- man Technical Committee on Minimum Wage and Palliatives had submitted its report to the main committee, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“The report was adopted just last week by the 29 -man joint committee.
“So the report is now being taken to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval next week (this week) and then the Acting President will constitute a National Minimum Wage Review Committee.
“This National Minimum Wage Review Committee will then fix a new minimum wage for the country.
“It has become imperative for a new minimum wage, because the last minimum wage has a life span of five years – it was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan- and it elapsed by Aug. 2016,” he said.
The minister stressed that since the issue of minimum wage was a constitutional issue, all stakeholders would be involved in the final discussions.
“So it is a law that it would have a national application for both those in the private sector and those in the public sector.
“So the implementation of the national minimum wage is not only for the Federal Government alone,” he added.
Ngige said the private sector, employers of labour, government and governors, among others would be involved in the discussion.
“We must all sit together and come out with an acceptable agreement,” he said.