March 25, 2019

Minimum wage: Crisis on the horizon amongst stakeholders

Minimum wage: Crisis on the horizon amongst stakeholders
The moves by the Federal Government and the organised labour to finalise the new minimum wage issue this month face yet another crisis.

The National Assembly plans to go on another recess. This would be ahead of the presentation of an executive bill on a new minimum wage by the presidency.

The bill is one of the agreements reached between the government and the organized labour.

The National Assembly is on Christmas and New Year recess and will resume on Tuesday.

The plans by the Presidency to transmit National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Bill to the National Assembly on January 23 may be scuttled with the lawmakers going on another recess by January 24.

Also Read: ‘2019 Budget Very Flawed’ – Atiku Criticizes Buhari’s Presentation

Our source explained, “The lawmakers will close on that day to allow members to participate in electioneering, ahead of general elections which will begin in February.

“That (January) 23 they said they would transmit the bill to the National Assembly. The National Assembly might have embarked on recess again for the elections.

“And they know that the lawmakers will not resume until after the elections. They know what they are doing.

“We will go (on recess) between this week and next week. We will go by Thursday (January 24).

“Our (presidential, Senate and House of Representatives) election is on the 16th (of February). So we have less than one month (to campaign). Why can’t they transmit the bill on Tuesday when we will resume?”

However, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas said work would continue on activities except during the recess.

Namdas said, “It is a priority. Once it is brought (to the legislature) by the executive, we will consider it as a matter of priority.

“The entire House can never close. Once the House is in session, whether there is election or anything, some people will remain.

“There will always be people in the House, and once they form a quorum, they can continue to work.

“I can assure you we will always have that quorum to consider legislative matters like the minimum wage, (2019) budget and other issues.”

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, observed that workers had been patient with the government for more than two years. He said, “The National Assembly will be back on January 16 from their recess; so on or before January 23, the bill must have been transmitted.

“We will shift our lobby to the National Assembly because once the bill is enacted; the money will be in the pocket of workers. We are tired of stories and that is why we insisted on a timeline.”

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