Lawmakers Push For Review Of Minimum Wage Every 5 Years
Civil servants and labour unions should be excited about this even though its still early days.
Lawmakers in the green-chair assembly are being proactive. They want to ensure common agitations receive legislative backing.
The bill will compel the Federal and State governments to ensure periodic review of the national minimum wage.
Consideration of the amendment of the National Minimum Wage Act, Cap. N61, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, had started when plenary opened on Tuesday, with some lawmakers emphasising the need for a review of the current wage of 18,000 Naira.
The bill was sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila is coming at a time labour unions are asking for an upward review of the current minimum wage to 56,000 Naira.
Once the amendment is completed, the Minister of Labour and Employment may be required to publish in the Federal Gazette a review of the minimum wage any time before 5 years from the day of last review should there be circumstances that may require such.
The lawmakers say the demand is in the interest of the national economy and Nigerian workers.
Putting the issue before the House for debate, Gbajabiamila linked the continuous clamour for increased minimum wage by workers on inflation.
“The first review shall be effective from January 1, 2017 irrespective of the day the bill comes into force.
“Section 1 of the Principal Act is hereby amended in sub-section 2 by inserting immediately after the word ‘whatsoever’ in line 2 a proviso to read as follows: Provided that the minimum wage in sub-section 1 of this section shall be subject to periodic review every 5 years and the first review shall be effective from the 1st day of January, 2017 irrespective of the day the bill comes into force.
“Section 2 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after sub-section 2 a new sub-section 3 to read as follows: “The Minister may by order published in the Federal Gazette review the minimum wage any time before 5 years from the day of last review in the event of some supervening circumstances in the interest of the national economy and Nigerian workers", the lawmaker said.
“You cannot say you are fighting corruption without giving the people the leeway to put bread on their tables,” Gbajabiamila stated.
Following the overwhelming support for the bill, Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity for further legislative action.