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Reps Recommend N30k Minimum Wage

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Members of the House of Representatives has advised the Federal Government to consider an upward review of the current minimum wage in other to avert looming strike action by workers.

The lawmakers during plenary on Thursday presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, passed a resolution urging the government to implement its wage review plans immediately.

The House recommended a new minimum wage of N30,000, noting that workers in the country could not survive a month on the current minimum wage of N18,000.

The current minimum wage of N18,000 came into effect in 2011.

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Minister of Labour and Employment (Dr. Chris Ngige) to commence forthwith the process of negotiating an upward review of the current minimum wage rates.”

The motion was moved by Hon. Peter Akpatason of the All Progressives Congress from Edo State.

Akpatason informed the House that an agreement by the government and labour unions to begin the process of review was not being implemented.

Akpatason’s motion read partly, “The House is cognisant of the tripartite agreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress, the National Employers Consultative Association and the Federal Government to set up a joint review team to study and recommend an appropriate rate to the government.

“(We are) concerned that despite the labour unions having submitted names of their nominees and made several requests for commencement of the review process, the government has yet to respond positively to the requests.

“As such, an upward adjustment of the rate of the minimum wage will have similar positive effects on the nation’s economy.

“Concerned that a combination of high inflation and weak Naira exchange value have eroded the purchasing power of fixed income earners in the country, who happen to be the breadwinners of millions of jobless and aged dependants.

“Convinced that any nationwide strike embarked upon by workers at this time is capable of rolling back recent economic gains, thereby returning the nation’s fragile economy into recession that will further exacerbate the suffering of the masses.”

Other lawamakers in the House supported the motion, saying the current N18,000 minimum wage was not sustainable.

The motion was passed in a voice vote.