Govt takes minimum wage talks to Nigerians in zones

Ongoing talks on the new national minimum wage will take a break from the boardroom.
On Thursday, the discussions will be taken to the public for the contribution of professionals and other Nigerians.

Six cities across the geo-political zones will host discussions to enable Nigerians from all walks of life to contribute to the proposal.

The current minimum wage is N30,000, which went into effect in April 2019.

The Federal Government in January constituted a 37-member Tripartite Committee to negotiate and agree on the new minimum wage.

The committee is made up of federal and state officials as well as private sector players.

Thursday’s discussion will take place in Yola, Northeast; Kano, Northwest; Abuja, Northcentral; Uyo, Southsouth; Enugu, Southeast, and Lagos, Southwest.

Ministry of Finance said yesterday that the essence of the meetings is to gather diverse perspectives and recommendations.

The Southwest zonal public hearing will be held in Lagos at the LTV Blue Roof Arena in Ikeja.

It will be chaired by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun.

Expected at the event are government officials, business leaders, labour union leaders, and the public.

A diverse panel will lead the discussions.

Among them is Osun State Governor Adeleke Ademola (representing state governments).

Adeleke is a representative of the governors on the minimum wage tripartite committee.

Employers will be represented by Omo-Lamai Grace (manufacturers association) and Muhammed Nura (Small and Medium Enterprises).

Labour will be represented by Adeyanju Adewale (Nigeria Labour Congress) and Shuaibu Afusatu (Trade Union Congress).

They will be joined by Minister of State Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

The Tripartite Committee will submit a recommendation on the proposed minimum wage.

The minimum wage was reviewed from N18,000 to N30,000 on April 18, 2019, and signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari into law.

The reviewed wage is expected to take effect on April 1, 2024.

Following the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, labour has been calling for a wage increase.

One of the demands of labour is an upward review of the national wage to N200,000.

It has, however, said its proposal would be influenced by the “country’s inflation figure and present realities.”

Onyejeocha said the committee has so far held two meetings and discussions are ongoing.

TUC President, Festus Osifo, said the tripartite committee was broken into sub-committees with each given specific assignments.

The reports of the sub-committees will be submitted to the larger house for deliberation.

By its tripartite nature, the committee is made up of persons from Labour unions, the public sector (federal and state governments) and the private sector made up of the largest private employer group, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).

<<The Nation>>