The wait for minimum wage review continues as Ngige confirms committee not fully constituted

Hope for workers as FG sets up panel on N56,000 minimum wage demands

Speaking to reporters following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said that on the issue of the new minimum wage, the government had approved a secretariat domiciled at the National Council for Salaries and Wages Commission.

He said, “We have the Minister of Labour and Employment as the deputy chairman, the Minister of Finance, and Minister of Budget and National Planning as members. The only appointee who is being awaited now is the chairman; and we have concluded the process for the nomination. We are waiting for the requisite approval.

“The labour centres, that is the NLC and TUC, have yet to bring their nominations. That is on the workers’ side. On the employers’ side, you know we have like sub-units. We have the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Assembly, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, and the Small and Medium-scale Industry Association.

“These groups will give us nominations. So, we are waiting. Once these nominations are in place, the President will now inaugurate the committee.”

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Many Nigerian workers have interpreted the government’s slow approach to the minimum wage review issue as a ploy to kill the renewed enthusiasm behind the clamour for wage increase. As the process drags, many advise that the government should show sincerity and good faith by honouring its pledge of better welfare to the Nigerian worker.

It will be recalled that the agreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government to review the national minimum wage was reached about five months ago in February.

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Chidi Chinedu

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