Minimum wage: Reps seek downward review of electricity tariff

Amid the ongoing negotiation for a new minimum wage between the Federal Government and the organised labour in Nigeria, the House of Representatives,  has called on the government to further consider the downward review of electricity tariff, to reduce the suffering of Nigerians.

The house also in a resolution on Wednesday, urged the government to redirect the focus of the negotiations from fixing a new minimum wage to fixing a realistic living wage for Nigerians, while commending the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity, and the labour unions for their commitment towards negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers at this very critical period.

This was fallout of a motion sponsored under matters of urgent public importance by Minority Whip of the House, Hon. Ali Isa JC, who noted that the fact that global economic outlook as well as recent socio-economic policies of government have resulted in inflation, increase in electricity tariff, currency devaluation and other diverse economic consequences especially for Nigerian workers.

The lawmaker recalled that the National Assembly had repealed and enacted the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 to fix the minimum wage at N30,000, even when the Executive arm had suggleadinN27, 000 at the time, adding that government has been locked in negotiations with labour unions towards the upward review of the Minimum Wage for some time, without any agreement, leading to a recent strike action.

While commending the government “for showing absolute commitment by imploring the labour unions to return to the negotiation table”, Isa noted that “the Labour, Employment and Productivity unions has since demanded for a living wage as against the minimum wage to meet today’s economic realities”.

According to him, in line with Section 3(4) of the Act, “the extant minimum wage which commenced on April 18, 2019 has expired after five years on April 18, 2024, thereby calling for a further review of the existing Act”.

He submitted, therefore that, there was need to fix a living wage for Nigerians in order to cushion the effects of economic downturn and activate productivity in the public service.