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Reps move to avert strike over new minimum wage



Demand for state police gathers momentum as bill passes first reading in House of Reps

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to meet with representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress, in a bid to avert the planned strike over minimum wage.

The Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who presided over plenary on Thursday, also assured Nigerians that the meeting with labour unions would help resolve the controversy surrounding the agitations over a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

This followed the adoption of a motion on a matter of personal explanation moved by the member representing Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency of Rivers State, Kelechi Nwogu, during plenary.

Reps Nwogu reminded his colleagues that the organised labour had announced it would embark on strike with effect from May 31, over a dispute with the Federal Government regarding the approval of a new minimum wage.

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The lawmaker, while noting that there was a need for proactive steps by the House to avert the strike, recalled that the lower legislative chamber, on March 16, adopted a motion on the need for a new minimum wage.

He, however, noted that the committee set up to come up with a proposed living wage for Nigerian workers was yet to report back to the House, contrary to the provision of the House Standing Order, which mandated committees to complete their assignments within 30 days.

Nwogu said: “If you look at Order 18 Rule 1 Sub 5 of our Standing Order, it says any matter referred to a committee shall be treated within 30 days, otherwise the committee stands discharged after 60 days, except there is an extension of time.

“This House adopted a motion on the need to provide a living wage for workers in Nigeria, sponsored by the deputy minority leader and others on March 16. The report was supposed to be presented to the House before this time.”

Contributing to the motion, the Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, urged the House to act swiftly to avert the planned strike.

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