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House Of Reps Wants Foreign Companies To Pay Minimum Wage

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The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed into second reading a Bill seeking an amendment to the National Minimum Wage Act 2004, to make it compulsory for companies with foreign interests to pay the minimum wage of N18,000 to their workers.

The Bill which was titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Minimum Wage Act Cap N6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to exclude the Establishments that have foreign participation from the list of Establishments exempted from the Payment of the National Minimum Wage and for Other Matter Related Thereto”, sought a reversal of the exclusion of companies that have foreign interests from the list of establishment exempted from payment of National Minimum Wage in the country.

A former trade unionist, Mr. Peter Akpatason, (APC Edo) who sponsored the bill to amend the Act, informed the House that while some of those companies might have a fewer number of employees in some cases, they raked in more revenues than companies with a higher number of workers.

He said that in order to address the issue, the number of workers applicable in such instances should be amended from 50 to 20 to cover the foreign companies.

According to Akpatason, another demerit associated with the non- payment of the minimum wage, was that the country was also losing the revenues accruable to it from the operations of the companies.

The House adopted the motion without further debate when Speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara called for a voice vote on the motion.

He later referred the matter to the House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity for more legislative inputs.