June 14, 2024

We’ll pass minimum wage bill speedily, Senate assures Nigerians

South East Development Commision

… says N/ Assembly expects to receive bill after Sallah
John Alechenu, ABUJA

The Senate has assured Nigerians that the National Minimum Wage Bill will receive the expeditious
attention it deserves as soon as the National Assembly receives it from the executive branch.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, gave this assurance in an interview, in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, the National Assembly especially the Senate, was on the same page with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, when it comes to ensuring the security and welfare of Nigerians.

In response to a question as to whether the bill will receive the kind of prompt attention the National Anthem Bill received,

Adaramodu said, “Yes. He added that, ”If immediately after Sallah, the Bill is brought by Mr. President, to the National Assembly, it’s going to be dealt with, with speed of lightning. Yes, we are going to pass it because it is for the benefit of Nigerian workers.”

Asked whether it would be In 48 hours or 24? He responded by saying, “Even if it is possible within 30 minutes, we will do that.

“So, it depends on the content of the Bill because the bill will go through the crucibles of the passage of the Bill. So we are not going to sit down and just say that the Bill has been passed.

“So we go through the crucibles. Within the time, if there are no oppositions from outside, if there are no oppositions from within, there can never be opposition from within because it’s going to be a kind of agreement between Labour, government and organised private sector.

“Once that one is there and then it comes to us, definitely we will go through the processes without delay and make sure that Nigerian workers get their deal.”

On the issue of disparities between what the N62,000 being offered by the Federal Government and what sub-nationals and the organised private sector are proposing, the Senate Spokesman said, “Since they are all meeting, we know that at the end of the day, all of them will agree on a figure because when it’s an executive bill, an executive bill means state executive, federal executive and even local government executive.

“So, definitely there is going to be an agreement. Once there’s an agreement, the bill will come and I don’t think any of the components of the negotiating bodies will oppose the agreed figure at the end of the day. So, we don’t have any fear about that.”

He also hinted that sanctions are likely to be mated out for noncompliance with the bill once it becomes an Act.

Adaramodu said, “We are going to do a watertight bill that we are proposing that the president will sign it to ensure that it is strictly adhered to as a law.

“Once it becomes law, we are going to make it watertight. And don’t let us just speculate what are going to be the ingredients that the federal government will be putting into the bill that will be brought by the executive to be submitted to the National Assembly.

“But when it comes, whatever is there and whatever is not there, we are going to ensure that it’s going to be watertight, that it’s going to be obeyed by all.”

He explained that the issue of a minimum wage should not be looked at as one involving only the federal government because every employer of labour from the public to the private is involved.

The federal lawmaker urged the Nigeria Labour Congress to look beyond the federal level in its agitation for better conditions of work.

He said, “We don’t even talk about the sub-nationals. And then it behooves on the NLC, which recognizes the workers in the organized private sector and the sub-nationals to look at the NLC that recognizes them as their members, to even ensure that they advocate for them.

“The issue of some states still paying N18,000, though I don’t know; because I don’t expect that one to be happening.

“So, if there are some states paying that, what has the labour centers in those states done in order to ensure compliance on that N30,000 minimum wage? We need to ask them question too.

“But like I said, the National Assembly is going to do this law seriously watertight that either the state or sub-national or organized private sector that is not comply, there is going to be sanction for it.

“So that’s the way it’s got to be done this time around. But the labour centers too need to protect the welfare of their members, not only with the Federal Government.”