The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, on Friday said President Muhammadu Buhari would soon approve the setting up of a 29- man committee to engage organised Labour in negotiating a new national minimum wage for workers in the country.
The minister added that the report of the National Minimum Wage Review Committee soon to be set up by the President would still be subjected to the scrutiny of the National Assembly before it would be implemented by government.
Organised Labour comprising the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had proposed a N56,000 new national minimum wage to the government.
The minister, who spoke with journalists in his office after a meeting of the technical committee, said the minimum wage review committee was yet to be set up, adding that the technical committee set up in June 2016 to work out modalities for review of the minimum wage and other palliatives would soon submit its report to the main committee.
Ngige said in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it was within the ambit of the National Assembly to amend the minimum wage act since all national minimum wage issues are in the exclusive legislative list.
He said, “When the national minimum wage committee finishes its work, it will go to the National Assembly because all national minimum wage issues are issues that are on the exclusive list. So that is within the ambits of the National Assembly in accordance with the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
According to him, the main committee comprising eight cabinet ministers and the Secretary to Government of the Federation as well as labour leaders will adopt or review the report before submitting it to President Buhari who will in turn approve the composition of the minimum wage committee.