Peter Obi Proffers Solution To Minimum Wage Problem
Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi has proffered a solution to the lingering minimum wage issue in the country.
The Nigerians Labour Congress (NLC) is demanding that the minimum wage for workers be increased from N18,000 to N30,000. The Federal Government is proposing N24,000.
But the governors claim that the sum is not realistic and it might be impossible to conveniently pay the new amount.
Obi, speaking on Tuesday during an interview with Channels Television, said the minimum wage should be determined by states, not labour congress.
According to him, the wages of workers should not be universal but based on realities.
“Minimum wage doesn’t have to be universal.
“I don’t believe that somebody In Lagos should earn the same thing as somebody who is in, maybe, Anambra State or somebody in Maiduguri.
“I argued that every state is not the same. I said every state is not the same; every state won’t pay the same
“There has to be a federal minimum, then each state, working within this minimum, can decide where they should go. That is what is obtainable all over the world.
“I am sure we will be able to come out with what is acceptable with Labour because I know we will sit down and discuss this constructively with the labour,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that the new Minimum Wage Technical Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari was not to review the report of the Tripartite Committee.
He said: “There is no bad situation, we are meeting them (labour) on January 4, and we have sent them a letter inviting them. I will meet them with the Budget and Planning Minister so that they will know what government is doing.
“We will brief them properly. The labour technical committee is not for them, it is not for their consumption, it is for the executive. It is an executive committee, a committee to advise the executive. We are not reviewing the minimum wage report.
“Government will look at the bill and the Attorney-General office is looking at that bill and we will bring out an executive bill from it for consideration by the National Economic Council, Federal Executive Council, National Council of States before transmission to the National Assembly, that is the sequence and we will do these things in January because the National Assembly is on recess.”
On why the Minimum Wage Bill is yet to be submitted to the National Assembly, the minister said: “It is going to be part of the budget, that is why the President talked about it in the budget, the entire quantum of money that would be used is captured in the 2019 budget.
“Besides, the Office of the Accountant General is still working on its own bill, it has not finished.”