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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Minimum Wage: Senate pledges speedy passage of Bill

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The Senate has promised to fast-track its consideration and passage of a new Minimum Wage Bill for the country.

The Senate made this pledge on Tuesday after commending the Labour Union for suspending its indefinite strike for one week.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio made these remarks during the plenary in Abuja, urging the NLC and TUC to suspend the strike.

Akpabion’s statement followed a motion sponsored by Senator Diket Plang (PDP – Plateau Central), who chairs the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment.

However, during the debate on the motion, information got to the chamber that the NLC and TUC had suspended their strike action for one week to allow for further negotiations with the Federal Government.

Following the information, the Senate stepped down the motion.

Akpabio said: “Taking it (motion) will mean that we are jumping the gun and we are trying to settle the issues for them.

“There are many variables that they will look at – the capacity to pay and the ability of states, local governments and private sector to even pay.

“They will also be looking at the fact that if the minimum wage is too high, then the possibility of retrenchment of workers will occur and I think they will do a comparative analysis to know that the last minimum wage which was fixed at N30,000.00 by this parliament as an Act of the National Assembly, how many states were able to pay? How many local governments were able to pay? How many employers were able to pay?

“We’ll be looking at those things because it’s important that holistic approach be looked at and I have taken the suggestion that we should not rest until we arrive at an amicable resolution of the issue and that the National Assembly should also continue to make its own contributions towards the ongoing negotiations.

“On that note, I want to thank the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for listening to the voice of Nigerians and the international community by calling off the strike to enable negotiations to continue and we wish them well in the negotiations.

“On our part, we will continue to do our best by making contributions and at the same time awaiting the incoming Bill on Minimum Wage for us to enact for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

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