The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government through severa committees were working on the review of the current minimum wage such that the new minimum wage arrived at would be payable by both private and public companies.
Stating this in an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday, the Minister said that the current review would be unique and unlike like any other in the country. “Minimum wage is a constitutional issue and is in the exclusive list. The Nigerian workers are entitled to a review of their pay under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He said one of the unique features of the review is that would be enforceable by workers in both private and public sectors, unlike previous reviews which have affected only those in the public sector. He further stated that any employer, public or private, who decided to pay below minimum wage would be ‘held liable’.
The implication of his statements, if eventually implemented, is that private sector employers, who in several cases, refuse to pay minimum wages would be compelled to do so. While this could easily work out among members of the organized private sector, it remains to be seen how the informal sector such as shops, stores, schools, hospitals and the like, would react to the pay review.