The Federal Government’s new minimum wage has suffered a major setback. This was confirmed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige who had earlier announced when the new minimum wage will commence.
During the 40th anniversary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja, the minister had said that the minimum wage will commence before the end of September 2018, with claims that workers will experience a surge in their wages.
Ngige said the new wage structure will not commence anytime soon as earlier announced. He added that the setback was because State Governors are yet to submit their proposal on a new wage system.
The Minister maintained that without a proposal from the governors, there cannot be an agreement on a new wage structure.
The minister said,
“We have a timetable and we will finish everything about it this end of August, but it is not attainable anymore because even in the committee we have not all finished dotting all the i’s and agreeing on a figure.
“We couldn’t agree on a figure because of two reasons, partly the state governors have not come up with a figure and the state governors are a critical constituent of this discussion. They have six governors in the committee, one from each geo-political zone.
“So the Governors Forum has not come up with their figure. They say they are still working on it. That was the last submission they made to us and the federal government team. We are working through the Economic management team.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, had in 2017, inaugurated the National Wage Committee led by former minister and Head of Service, Ama Pepple in order to recommend the long-clamour for minimum wage.
The last time minimum wage was reviewed was in 2011. Then, the wage was set at a paltry ₦18,000. It took 10 years to have this benchmark reviewed through a collective bargaining mechanism by the Government and the Labour unions.