Don’t expect new minimum wage in September, says Ngige




Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, says the new national minimum wage may not materialise in September as earlier envisaged.

Ngige, who disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday at his residence in Abuja, said the September date is when negotiation on the issue of minimum wage will be concluded.

He said: “The committee on the new National Minimum wage is expected to conclude its work by the end of September and present its report to the government for deliberation and approval before an executive bill is sent to the national assembly on the issue.”

The minister said the issue of capacity to pay was also paramount in the deliberations on the minimum wage.

He said to get the input of all those concerned including state governments and the organised private sector, the committee embarked on zonal public hearing across the country.

The minister said in the course of the zonal public hearings, many state governments made different submissions ranging from N22,000 monthly to N58,000.

He added that the governors were also of the belief that for the new minimum wage to become effective, the current revenue allocation formula would have to be reviewed in favour of the states and local government.

He said some other states were also of the view that the minimum wage should be maintained at the current N18,000 in view of the inability of some states to pay the current wages.

According to Ngige, when the minimum wage committee concludes its report, it will be submitted to the national council of state and the federal executive council for approval before a bill is sent to the national assembly to legalise the work of the committee.

He said even though it was not an easy task, the committee was making progress in its assigned responsibility.

He pointed out that six governors were elected to be members of the committee as well as representatives of the private organised sector in an effort to carry everybody along.

TheCable