Last updated on November 19th, 2018 at 08:44 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed 30, 000 Naira as the National Minimum Wage for Nigerian workers, a day after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) suspended its planned nationwide strike.
Its sister body ASUU has suspended academic activities in government owned institutions though.
On November 27, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the National Minimum Wage Committee with a mandate to recommend a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
The committee completed its assignment and today submitted their report to the President at Aso Rock, Abuja, but state governors said they can’t afford the New Minimum Wage of 30,000 Naira.
Read the full speech of the president below:
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT MUMHAMADU BUHARI ON THE OCCASION OF THE RECEIPT OF THE REPORT OF THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE TRIPARTITE COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, 6TH NOVEMBER, 2018
On 27th November 2017, I inaugurated the National Minimum Wage Committee with a mandate to recommend a new minimum wage for the workers of our country.
This exercise became necessary for many reasons. The last review took place in 2011. We all know since then, the prices of key consumables have increased and the most vulnerable of our workers are struggling to make ends meet.
Since 2011, many changes have taken place. Nigeria rebased its GDP to become the largest economy in Africa. We reported very strong GDP growth rates and exceptional performance of our capital markets. However, these reported successes did not flow into the pockets and homes of majority of Nigerians.
In the last three years, we focused on correcting this deficiency. We are working to create a diversified and inclusive economy.
We are pushing to clear pension arrears owed to our retired workers with the limited resources available to us.
We supported State Governments to pay workers salary. And of course, we set up a committee in order to review the minimum wage of workers.
In constituting this committee, we took into account the need for all stakeholders to be adequately represented – the government, the private sector and most importantly the workers. Our goal was to get an outcome that was consensual.
From the onset, we knew the committee had a difficult task ahead of it. But at the same time, we were also confident that the patriotic and professional background of its members would produce realistic, fair and implementable recommendations that will be considered by both the executive and legislative arms of government.
I am not surprised that the committee has worked for close to one year. I am also not surprised that on a few occasions, the debates got heated and sometimes, these differences came out.
What is truly inspiring is that, in almost all instances of disagreements, the committee members always came back to the negotiating table with a common goal of improving the welfare of Nigerian workers. On behalf of all Nigerians today, I want to thank you for your commitment and sacrifice in getting us to where we are today.
In the past few days, I have been receiving regular updates on your deliberations. And today, I am pleased that you have completed your work in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner. The entire nation is grateful to you all.
The Committee Chairman highlighted some of the challenges encountered during your deliberations, especially as it relates to having a consensus position acceptable by all parties.
I understand, on the government side, the concerns raised were around affordability – that today many states struggle to meet their existing salary requirements.
On the side of labour, the points raised focused on the need for any increase to be meaningful.
In a way, both arguments are valid. I want to assure you all that we will immediately put in place the necessary machinery that will close out these open areas. Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time.
I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.
Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organized labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work. The fact that we are here today, is a notable achievement.
As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, we will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I therefore would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks.
May I therefore, employ workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons.
Thank you and may God bless our country.
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its planned nationwide strike which should have taken effect November 5, 2018.
After a marathon meeting with top government officials Monday through Tuesday morning, NLC excos declared that the planned strike had been canceled.
“Having reached this position and agreements signed, the proposed strike action is hereby suspended,” NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said.Click To Tweet
He said the decision to suspend the strike was reached after agreements were reached and documents signed.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, said the mutual agreement reached would be made public November 6, (today) and submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.
No official figure has been released but it was gathered that the government agreed and signed the 30, 000 Naira as the latest minimum wage in Nigeria.
“I am happy to report to you that we have concluded our assignment and we will submit our report to the President by 4.15pm on Tuesday.
We will reveal the figure at the presentation,” Chairman of the committee, Amma Pepple, said.
…ASUU declares nation wide strike
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has commenced a nationwide industrial action just as it sister body NLC put on hold its planned strike.
National President of the ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the industrial action became imperative because the Federal Government has failed to honour the agreement it had with union last year.
“Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men using the principle of collective bargaining that ASUU at its NEC meeting of 3rd and 4th November 2018 at the FUTA, resolved to resume the nationwide strike action it suspended in September 2017 with immediate effect,” ASUU president said.