Fresh Problem Looms As Senate Approves N30,000 New Minimum Wage, Labour May ‘Strike’ Again

After all the hues and cries over the increase of the minimum wage by the government which had seen the Nigeria Labour Government in a long series of back and forth with the Federal Government led by the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, the new minimum wage has finally been passed by the Senate.

Recall that on January 29th, reacted to the passage of the minimum wage bill by the House of Representatives.

Stakeholders had on the previous Monday engaged the National Assembly at a public hearing to press home their demand of N30, 000 as the new national wage as agreed by the Tripartite Committee.

According to Wabba, the passage confirms the wishes of the people and even the social partners. He was quoted thus:

”Because during the public hearing, organised private sector confirmed that N30, 000 was mutually agreed, and also all other sectors came in and said that it was N30, 000 that was mutually agreed.

“So, clearly speaking, I think what happened at the National Assembly is just to uphold the wishes of the people and the Tripartite Committee, and also centrally to recognise workers contributions to national development.

“We also plead with the Senate to follow the same path, so that it can be assented to and workers could begin to benefit from it.

“I want to say that in this battle for the new national minimum wage, all of us are winners, nobody is a loser because really the centrality is what matter most,” he said.

And now with the passage by the Senate another dimension has surpassed to its implementation.

But there is a new development to its implementation.

Apparently the Federal government is looking at passing the burden of funding the expense back to companies and enterprises within the country.

This is highlighted in the statement made by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma who is Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning to members of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, gave the indication that the government may need to increase the Value Added Tax being charged to be able to fund the payment.

The Senator made this known on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance at the hearing to deliberate on the new national minimum wage of N30,000 approved by the Senate.

The Senate had approved the new figure at its plenary on Tuesday.

Speaking before a panel led by Senator John Owan Enoh, Udoma noted that the Technical Advisory Committee on the minimum wage would submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari during the week.

“The current minimum wage of N18,000 is really too low. It is difficult for workers to manage on that amount. The President supported a review but it is important that as we are reversing it, we should be able to fund it. It is in the light of this that we would be coming to you (Senate), because there may be the need to make some changes, especially the VAT, in order to fund the minimum wage once it is announced,” he said.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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