The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the membership of the proposed national minimum wage committee to discuss the new minimum wage for workers across the country.
Although he did not disclose the membership of the yet-to-be inaugurated committee, he said it was a tripartite panel, including representatives of the Federal and state governments, as well as the private sector.
Ngige, who disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting he had with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said discussions with the affected parties would decide whether the N56,000 national minimum wage being demanded by workers “is achievable”.
The minimum wage is currently N18,000 per month.
He said: “When we came to power in 2015, there was a minimum wage, and by May 2016, we now had a deregulation in the petroleum industry and prices of petroleum products went up and we started discussions with the organised labour.”
“One of the agreements was that the issue would be addressed. The old law expired last year August and we are now in the process of empaneling a new national minimum wage committee.
“I have cleared the appointments with the president today and as soon as the labour people come back from the Labour Governing Board meeting in Geneva, we will take a consensus date with the governors because it is a tripartite committee involving federal and states, the private sector – National Employment Consultative Agency (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“These are the arms that will be involved. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), their affiliates have done their nominations. What we are now trying to fine-tune is the date for inauguration.”