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Minimum wage: The National Assembly may consider confiscating defaulting states and LG allocations.  

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Minimum wage: The National Assembly may consider confiscating defaulting states and LG allocations.

 

By: Adisa Deborah

The National Assembly has vowed to guarantee that states, local governments, and the Organized Private Sector comply with the authorized minimum wage. The Assembly may even consider confiscating allocations from non-compliant states and municipal governments. The Wage Award Bill, received from President Bola Tinubu, will establish clear penalties for defaulters, hastening the adoption of the new minimum wage legislation.

The National Assembly will continue work on the new minimum wage following the Sallah holiday on July 2. Labor unions have conflicted with the government, demanding N250,000, while the NLC, led by Assistant General Secretary Chris Onyeka, has turned down the latest offer of N62,000 or N100,000.

 

Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, raised alarm about the N250,000 minimum wage proposal, saying it could destabilize the economy, cause layoffs, and imperil Nigerians’ wellbeing. Adaramodu informed workers that the government would pay what it could afford, enforcing strict adherence and imposing punishments for noncompliance.

 

Adaramodu proposes a watertight bill that the federal government should introduce to the National Assembly for strict implementation. He emphasized the significance of tackling the minimum wage issue, as well as the NLC’s drive for organized private sector workers. The bill would be passed fast, taking into account all parties’ perspectives and assuring compliance with the N30,000 minimum wage.

 

Adaramodu and House Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda are keen to approve the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, a Nigerian bill designed to protect the rights of Nigerian workers. They are committed to guaranteeing the bill’s passage and justice by the 10th Assembly’s legislative agenda.

 

The Green Chamber is dedicated to fostering unity, peace, and development in Nigeria.

Hakeem Ambali, the National Treasurer of the Nigerian Labour Congress, has asked for political will to impose consequences on states, local governments, and members of the Organized Private Sector who do not comply with minimum wage regulations. He feels that a living salary is more important than the minimum wage, taking into account the costs of rent, transportation, medical care, and education.

 

The Nigerian Governors Forum, chaired by former Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, advocates for decentralized minimum wage negotiations with labor unions. Labour has identified state administrations that are not entirely complying with the N30,000 payment, with some even accepting the increased wage. Fayemi also noted resource disparities between states.

Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, stated that the National Assembly should not include new punishment measures because the National Minimum Wage Bill already has provisions for infractions and enforcement. He proposed that the National Assembly create an enabling structure for states and local government councils to implement the new minimum wage rather than imposing punishments, arguing that the measure is comprehensive enough to solve all difficulties.

 

The National Assembly must pass a tripartite law that includes adequate enforcement measures for state and municipal administrations. Law scholar Edward Bristol-Alagbariya underlined the significance of public hearings before imposing executive minimum wage regulations, as well as the need for organized labor and public participation in tax compliance.

 

Akeem Akinwale, a professor of Employment Relations at the University of Lagos, denounced the ongoing dispute between the government and Organized Labour, claiming it was a political matter. He stated that Labour should focus on price control, inflation reduction, and lower compensation for public officials. Akinwale says the federal government is currently legislating a new minimum wage.

 

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