GOVERANCE

Govt, Labour Agreed On Minimum Wage Increment- Oshiomhole 

 

Senator representing Edo North, Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, says there is a mutual agreement between workers and the Federal Government and the state counterparts that there is an urgent need to increase the minimum wage.

Oshiomhole, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, said that all concerned parties acknowledged that the current minimum wage of N30,000 is outdated and should be increased to meet with rising cost of living.

“I think there is some unanimity between employers, including private employers and obviously the Federal Government and I believe state governments that the current minimum wage of 30,000 is a joke,” Oshiomhole said.

“There is a recognition of the fact that the purchasing power of the workers across the board including directors, permanent secretaries not to talk of those on levels one to four, has dropped radically and you need to beef it up.

In a market economy, there are even countries where wages are indexed to the weight of inflation. So, I think there is a shared commitment that wages should go up and go up radically as much as prices have skyrocketed.

Following several months of discussions between the government and the workers, there was a huge expectation that a new minimum wage would be announced during the Workers Day commemoration today but that was not to be.

However, the government assured the workers that they will not lose anything as the new minimum wage whenever it is agreed will take effect from May 1, 2024.

The Minister of State Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, gave the assurance on Wednesday while addressing Nigerian workers at the May Day celebration in Abuja.

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She said it is regrettable that the new national minimum wage is not ready before today, but that a wide consultation is ongoing to ensure that the document is out together as soon as possible.

Oshiomhole, who is a former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commended the Federal Government for assuring the workers that a new minimum wage will take effect from May 1.

The current Minimum Wage Act of N30,000 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The Act is to be reviewed every five years to meet with contemporary economic demands of workers.

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