NEW MINIMUM WAGE: ALL STATES HAVE NO OPTION, THEY MUST ABIDE BY IT – NGIGE
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige has disclosed that all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory would be mandated to abide by the new minimum wage being arranged by the Federal Government.
The minister made this known while addressing the media in his native Anambra state on Saturday.
He said that it is wrong for state governors to bicker over matters related to the minimum wage, which the 1999 constitution placed under the exclusive legislative list under the purview of the Federal Government.
Some states have been demanding that they be left alone to negotiate with their workers over the minimum wage, so that they could arrive at a figure they could afford to pay.
However, Ngige said this was against the provision of the Constitution.
The minister disclosed that a tripartite committee set up to fashion out a new minimum wage for Nigerians workers has commented work after its inauguration on December 14, 2017.
He said, “The committee, which had brought out a framework that will guide it, will conclude its work by the third quarter of 2018 and then submit its report to enable the Federal Government Issue a white paper and subsequently transmit the content to the National Assembly.
“That is why the President is not over flogging the issue, but he is monitoring the work of the committee. One thing that is clear is that the states will abide by whatever will be the outcome of the work of the committee because they (governors) have nominees there.
“The Governors’ Forum is represented in the committee and the Federal Government component is represented by five Ministers and the Head of Service of the Federation. It will therefore be against the spirit of the constitution for the states to have their own minimum wage.”
He reiterated that no state would be allowed to pay below the minimum wage.