Nigeria: Govt Inaugurates Minimum Wage Committee Tomorrow

The Federal Government will tomorrow inaugurate a tripartite committee to negotiate a new minimum wage for workers nationwide.

The N30,000 subsisting minimum wage expires in April 2024 as its five years life span will end on April 18, 2024. Recall that former President Muhammad Buhari signed the N30,000 Minimum Wage Act into law on April 18, 2019.

The tripartite committee, comprising representatives of organised private sector, OPS, organised labour and government for a national minimum wage negotiation, is in accordance with the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Convention 131.

The committee will be inaugurated at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja at noon.

They are to negotiate and agree on a new minimum wage which the federal government will, through an executive bill, forward to the National Assembly for legislation.

In a letter inviting some of the representatives to the inauguration by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume, titled “Inauguration of the tripartite committee on national minimum wage”, the SGF said: “I write to inform you that Mr. President has approved the inauguration of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage.

The inauguration will take place on Tuesday, 30th January 2024 at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, State House, and Abuja at 12.00noon prompt.

Members are to be seated by 11.30am. A shuttle bus will be available at the pilot gate to convey members to the venue from 10.00 am.”

The letter added that representatives could contact the Secretariat of the Committee in the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission for any enquiries/ Director, Compensation for further information.

Recall that ahead of the new minimum wage negotiations, Organised Labour plans to demand a wage based on the cost of living and other socioeconomic indices across the country.

Vanguard gathered that Labour has been working round the clock to ensure that its wage demand can hardly be faulted by both government and private sector employers.

According sources, Organised Labour demand would be determined by the cost of living and other parameters across the country.

To ensure that Labour’s demand is data based instead of sentiments, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had directed its state councils nationwide to collate the cost of living data in towns and local government areas in the states.

In a circular dated January 17, 2024, to the state councils titled “National minimum wage negotiation- Data collection: Urgent action required”, NLC’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, among others, wrote “As we gear up for the forthcoming negotiations on a new national minimum wage, it is crucial that we gather accurate and comprehensive data on the average cost of living across our nation. State Councils of the NLC have been identified as key players in this essential task.

“The success of our efforts in negotiating a fair and equitable national minimum wage depends significantly on the thoroughness and accuracy of the data we collect. Therefore, I am writing to urge your immediate attention and action in conducting the necessary research and collating vital information.

“To facilitate this process, please find attached two forms. The first form is designed for distribution around the towns and Local Government Areas, LGAs, in your state. It is imperative that these forms are disseminated widely to ensure a representative and inclusive data collection process.

“The second form is to be used for summarizing the analysis of the collated data. This summarized information will be sent to the national headquarters, where it will greatly assist the Congress’ National Minimum Wage Negotiating Council in its deliberations.

“In line with the urgency of this matter, we encourage you to leverage online platforms for efficient and streamlined data collection. This approach will not only expedite the process but also ensure the accuracy of the information gathered.

“We kindly request that your State Council commence this crucial task promptly and submit your findings to the national headquarters before the last day of this month, January 2024.

“Your dedication to this undertaking is invaluable, and we are confident that with your collaboration, we will contribute significantly to the success of the upcoming negotiations.”

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