Reps Move To Amend Minimum Wage, Revenue Allocation Laws

The House of Representatives is set to review the National Minimum Wage Act 2004 and the Allocation of Revenue Act 2004 with the second reading passage of their respective Amendment Bills at plenary on Wednesday.

The Bill for an Act to Amend the National Minimum Wage Act CAP. N.16 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 sponsored by Hon. Peter Akpatason and if passed into law, seeks to exclude the establishments that have foreign participation from the list of establishments exempted from the payment of national minimum wage.

While a Bill for an Act to amend the Allocation of Revenue (Federation Account, etc) Act 2004 and matters connected therewith sponsored by Hon. Edward Pwajok, seeks to ensure that all Local Governments in the States are democratically constituted before disbursements are made to such states.

While leading the debate on the Bill to amend the National Minimum Wage Act, Akpatason said in addition to broadening the scope of participation to incorporate more categories of Nigerian workers eligible to benefit from minimum wage payment, the proposed amendments also represent a “clear demonstration of the determination of this 8th Assembly to timorously address the issue of obsolete laws, in support of the ‘change’ agenda of this government.”

One of the major amendments to the principal Act is to substitute number of workers from 50 with 20 in Subsection 1(a) of the Act, so any company that employs up to 20 workers will be eligible to pay the mandatory minimum wage.

The Bill was subsequently passed for second reading and referred to the relevant House committee for further legislative inputs preparatory to its third reading and eventual passed into law.

Meanwhile, Hon. Pwajok while leading the debate on the Amendment Bill for the Allocation Revenue Act, said there has been a loud public outcry on the abuse of the money allocated to the Local Governments in the country by state governments.

He added that the Bill if passed to law, aims at deepening democracy and ensuring respect for the Constitution by all tiers of government.

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