Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, has shed more light on the approval of N27,000 minimum wage by the National Council Of State on Tuesday.

He stated that with the approval of the N27,000, a bill would be sent to the National Assembly on Wednesday (today) to get the necessary legal backing for the new wage regime.

The minister added that though the National Assembly had said that it would proceed on vacation till after the elections, the relevant committees on wage matters would continue to sit to work on the new wage for urgent passage.

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The minister added,  “We have held a series of consultations starting from the inauguration of the tripartite committee in November 2018, to the Federal Executive Council, the National Economic Council and finally today, the Council of State and these three organs have permitted the President now to transmit to the National Assembly the new minimum wage bill.

“This is in consonance with the fact that the issue of national minimum wage prescription is in the Exclusive List, Second Schedule, item 34, and being on that list, it is not a job that can be done by the Executive alone. The President has to transmit a bill and the National Assembly will take legislative action and return the bill that has been so treated to the President for accent.''

Ngige also explained that the new wage would amend the 1981 and 2011 Acts.

The minister added, “States or organisations that are able to pay more than N27,000 can do so; it depends on their financial capacity. For example, the Federal Government has resolved that its own workers will not get anything less than N30, 000. I am saying that the Federal Government had decided even before now that they would top up their own minimum wage to bring it in consonance with N30,000.

When reminded of labour’s position that the minimum wage must be N30,000, Ngige replied, “The minimum wage is for the lowest paid, the most vulnerable, the person on Grade Level One, Step One. That is the import and the labour unions understand that and so we don’t envisage any problem on that.”