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NLC Proposes Sanctions For Governors Who Fail To Pay Minimum Wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is advocating for the incorporation of punitive measures into the Minimum Wage Act to address non-compliance by state governors and local government administrators.

This push for stricter enforcement comes amid ongoing challenges with the implementation of the current minimum wage across various states.

The National Treasurer of the NLC, Hakeem Ambali, highlighted the issue in an interview with Punch in Abuja, explaining that the lack of penalties in the existing 2019 Minimum Wage Act has allowed some state governors to evade their obligation to pay the stipulated minimum wage.

Ambali emphasized the necessity of such sanctions to ensure compliance and protect workers’ rights across Nigeria.

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The move by the NLC coincides with the scheduled meeting of the 37-member committee established by President Bola Tinubu’s administration to discuss the new minimum wage.

This panel, inaugurated on January 30, 2024, by Vice-president Kashim Shettima, includes representatives from federal and state governments, the private sector, and organized labor.

The committee’s task is to deliberate on findings from various sub-committees across the six geopolitical zones and formulate recommendations for a revised national minimum wage.

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As discussions are set to proceed this week, the inclusion of penalties in the wage legislation will be a critical point of debate, aimed at fostering greater accountability and ensuring that all Nigerian workers benefit from fair labor practices and wage standards.

Ambali said, “When we look at the purchasing power in Nigeria, we can see a huge difference between 2019 and now. With the stoppage of the payment of the fuel subsidy, we can see an increase in the hardship of Nigerians.

“In the new minimum wage bill which will soon be signed into law by the President, we have put in some internal clauses to make it difficult for governors not to pay the new minimum wage. It is also good to know that some of the governors are also involved in the negotiation process.

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“Labour itself has to be responsive. Once the National Minimum Wage Bill is signed into law juxtaposed with Labour’s responsiveness, we know they will pay. As you can see,0 even private companies have started increasing the salaries of workers and some of them are even paying wage awards for their workers.

“So in the bill, the clause involves sanctions and also talks about increased allocation to local governments so that nobody will have any excuse of not paying the approved rate.”

Meanwhile, the 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage appointed by the Federal Government will hold a meeting this week to debate proposals by stakeholders on the new minimum wage.

An executive bill is also expected to be sent to the National Assembly as a form of amendment to the current Minimum Wage Act.

The minimum wage to be unveiled is expected to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit.

During the public hearings, different zones suggested different amounts for minimum wage. The South-West zone suggested N794,000; the North -East proposed the sum of N560,000 as minimum wage; North- West proposed N485,000; The North-Central proposed N709,000; the South-South demanded N850,000 while the South -East demanded N540,000.

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman

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