Buhari inaugurates 30-member minimum wage review committee

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated a 30-member National Minimum Wage Committee made up of representatives of government, workers and employers of labour.

The committee, inaugurated at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, would review the current N18 minimum wage.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the President said the committee was necessary because Nigerian workers deserve good welfare package as vital elements in the growth and development of modern nation.
“We all know that the last Minimum Wage Instrument has expired, and it is in recognition of the need to ensure a fair and decent living wage that the Federal Government put in motion necessary mechanism so that we can today inaugurate this large committee with a big task ahead of you.
“You are all aware that during the period following the increase in Petrol Pump Price in May 2016, a Technical Committee was established to examine and make recommendations to Government on the measures to be adopted to cushion the envisaged painful effects of the increase on workers and the Nigerian populace at large.
“During the deliberations of the Technical Committee which comprised Government and Organized Labour, the need for the review of the National Minimum Wage was highlighted and recommendation to set up a committee to look into the level of minimum wage was made accordingly. I am glad that the recommendation is being acted upon today and we can all acknowledge that this is in line with our democratic process. I wish to thank all those who participated in that exercise,” he said.
The President expressed satisfaction with the composition of the committee, saying that the country expects acceptable results at the end of its work.
“Considering the scope of the membership of this new National Minimum Wage Committee we can see that it is encompassing all stakeholders. My hope is that, the outcome of the deliberations of the Committee would be consensual and generally acceptable. I therefore urge you to amicably consider the issue of a National Minimum Wage and all matters that are ancillary to it with thoroughness and concern not only for the welfare of our work-force but the effect on the country’s economy.
 “The subject of a National Minimum Wage for the Federation is within the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Accordingly, we should aim to go above the basic Social Protection Floor for all Nigerian workers based on the ability of each tier of Government to pay. I say this because minimum wage is the minimum amount of compensation an employee must receive for putting in his or her labour and as such should be anchored on Social Justice and Equity,” he said.
The President said government’s decision after considering the final recommendation of the committee would be sent as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for it to undergo appropriate legislative scrutiny before passage into law.