How N30,000 New Minimum Wage Sailed Through
More facts emerged yesterday, on how the N30,000 new minimum wage sailed through at Monday’s meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, bowed to pressure from the labour movement in the country, promising to set machinery in motion to close the gap between the N24,000 proposed by the Federal Government and the N30,000 put forward by organized labour as soon as possible.
It was gathered that majority of members of the committee presented superior arguments to the dissenting governors and Federal Government representatives on why the N30,000 must be adopted.
According to a member of the committee, because the tripartite committee is like a tripod, after organized labour and Organized Private Sector, OPS, reached understanding on N30,000, there was really nothing the other leg of the tripod could do, as majority will always have their way, while the minority will have their say.
He said: “We told the governors that they had the opportunity to canvass their position during committee sittings but failed to do so. We also asked the governors to tell us when they really met to agree on N22,500, since no fewer than five governors had told us that they will pay. We showed them the evidence.”
“We made the governors to realize that the proposal of N22,500 was an afterthought conceived by some of them. What we did was to acknowledge the N24,000 by the Federal Government and made them to understand that the committee report is N30.000.”
“Meanwhile, we gathered from some of the governors that they would go to the National Assembly to canvass their position during the public hearing that will be organized by the lawmakers.”
“In fact, we are even hoping that the National Assembly will raise the figure because N30,000 is just a compromise figure. I can tell you that for the governors and the Federal Government, many of the private sector representatives actually agreed with us to raise the figure to N36,000.”
“The issue is that the majority will have their way, while the minority will have their say. The committee is a tripartite one made up of three legs. When the two legs of the tripod have agreed, the third leg cannot change the decision reached. That was what happened.”
Promising to set machinery in motion to close the gap between the N24,000 minimum wage proposed by the Federal Government and the N30,000 put forward by organized labour, the President added that the arguments of government and organized labour on the two figures are valid.
The President, who made the promise while receiving report of the Tripartite Committee on Review of National Minimum Wage that recommended N30,000, also expressed his commitment to having a new National Minimum Wage Act.
President Buhari said that having seen the argument of the government team in insisting on N24,000 and that of the organized labour that proposed N30,000, he would do everything possible to close the open areas.
His words: “Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time. I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.”
“Let me use this opportunity to recognize the leadership of organized labour and private sector as well as representatives of state and federal governments for all your hard work. The fact that we are here today is a notable achievement.”
President Buhari, who received the report from the committee’s chairman, Ama Pepple, at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, expressed delight that the committee had successfully completed its assignments in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.
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