On Sunday, the Nigeria Labour Congress made it clear that it would push for the addition of a clause that would impose penalties on governors and local government officials who did not enforce the new minimum wage.

In an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, National Treasurer of the NLC Hakeem Ambali revealed that the absence of punitive measures in the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was the reason state governors refused to pay the current minimum wage.

He made this statement on Sunday after learning that the 37-member committee that the federal government had formed would convene this week to discuss reports that had been turned in by different subcommittees from each of the nation’s six zones.

The 37-member panel on the new minimum wage was officially inaugurated on January 30, 2024, by President Bola Tinubu through his Vice-President, Kashim Shettima.

The panel, whose members include organized labor, the private sector, and the federal and state governments, is tasked with proposing a new national minimum wage for the nation.Ambali stated, “There is a significant difference between 2019 and now when it comes to Nigeria’s purchasing power. Nigerians’ hardship is getting worse as a result of the fuel subsidy payments stopping.

“We have included some internal clauses in the new minimum wage bill, which the president will soon sign into law, to make it more difficult for governors to refuse to pay the new minimum wage. It is encouraging to know that a few governors are participating in the negotiations as well.The nature of labor itself must be flexible. We know that Labour will pay once the National Minimum Wage Bill is signed into law in contrast to their lack of responsiveness.

As you can see, even private businesses have begun to raise employee wages, and some of them are even covering wage awards.

In order to ensure that there is no justification for anyone to fail to pay the authorized rate, the bill contains a provision that both talks about increased funding for local governments and sanctions.In the meantime, this week’s meeting of the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage, constituted by the Federal Government, will discuss stakeholder proposals regarding the new minimum wage.

It is also anticipated that an executive bill amending the current Minimum Wage Act will be sent to the National Assembly.It is anticipated that the minimum wage, which will be announced, will mitigate the impact of Premium Motor Spirit’s loss of subsidies.

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