By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA — The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has warned the Federal Government that the passage and implementation of the new N18,000 national minimum wage should not exceed February this year.
The Bill on the National Minimum Wage is already before the National Assembly for passage following the approval of the National Council of State and the subsequent submission of the bill to the legislators for passage.
President of the NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, said, weekend, that the NLC did not expect the passage of the bill to pass January, if the National Assembly resumed after their recess and full implementation commenced immediately.
Comrade Omar was speaking at a Dinner and Award Night organised in honour of the President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU), and Deputy President NLC, Comrade Promise Adewusi by the SSANU chapter of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Omar said the congress did not expect the whole process to get to February, adding that the NLC leadership will meet with the National Assembly as soon as they resume in order to give the bill an accelerated hearing.
The NLC President said: “We have a road map on the national minimum wage, and we understand that the bill has just been forwarded to the National Assembly and the lawmakers are on recess.
“I don’t expect that it will even get to February ending because the nature of the bill is not that complex. It is just substitution of one, two or three places. That is all, and I believe this is something that can be done with absolute ease.
“So, what we are saying is that our next point of call is the National Assembly and we expect them to give it an accelerated hearing.”
Omar added that, “In fairness to them, we are also going to pay a visit to the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to urging them to accelerate hearing and passage and we don’t envisage any problem with that because even the leadership also sent a delegation to us with a very strong promise that once this bill is before them, they will give it an accelerated hearing.
“We don’t expect it to pass January. That is when they resume. We have not yet met with them, but when they sent their representatives, they assured us that all they are waiting is for the bill to be presented to them.”
He noted: “Now that it is presented before them courtesy demand that we will go and ask them to fulfill their promise with an accelerated hearing because Nigeria workers have been patiently waiting and I believe they are going to do that.”
At the event, Comrade Adewusi, Director General, Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies; Dr. John Olanrewaju, Management of Nasarawa State University under the present Vice Chancellor, Shamsudeen Amali and the Vice President, North of SSANU, Comrade. T. Ahile with leadership excellent awards in their respective field.