National Minimum Wage Bill Will Be Struck Out-NASS Assures Workers - EDU-BIZNEWS


Thursday, March 11, 2021

National Minimum Wage Bill Will Be Struck Out-NASS Assures Workers

National Assembly has assured workers in Nigeria that the bill seeking to transfer the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive to concurrent legislative list, would be struck out 

The bill being sponsored by  Garba Muhammed (Kaduna State) which has scaled through second reading at the House of Representatives, is seeking to empower the State Governments to negotiate minimum wage for their respective workers depending on the available resources.

But Senator Sabi Abdullahi( Niger North) addressing  Labour leaders on Wednesday during a protest march at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, assured that the controversial bill would be killed by the National Assembly

His words,“The bill will be killed the way a similar one was killed during the eighth National Assembly,”

Abdullahi speaking on behalf of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, alongside with House Leader Ado Doguwa, who represented Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila,  told the protesters, led by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba, that the demands of the organized labour would be addressed, pledging their loyalty to the workers in the country 

Labour organised the protests at the National Assembly complex in Abuja and House of Assembly complexes in the 36 states to press home its demand that the plan to re-classify minimum wage negotiation from the Executive List, to the Concurrent List, be rejected.

They carried placards. Their leaders wore the red protest bibs and marched in hundreds on the National Assembly after coming together at the Unity Fountain.

”Remember in the Eighth Assembly, I was spokesman of the Senate and I recall vividly that this issue of minimum wage was brought and we killed it,"Abdullahi assured

“Has the condition that led to the Eighth Assembly decision changed? I want to say very clearly that in the past, we have stood toe-to-toe with   Nigerian workers.

”There is nothing that suggests we are changing from that direction. Rather, we will stand by you to ensure that the fundamental right of every worker is not only enforced, but ensured and guaranteed.

He allayed the fear of the organized Labour on possible passage of the controversial bill

“I want to guarantee you that on behalf of distinguished Senator   Lawan, who is also a very progressive lawmaker, do not go home having any fear.

“Go home and sleep with your eyes closed. We are going to ensure that we do justice to the message you have brought to us.

”Action speaks louder that voice. Wait to see the action. I want to assure you that our colleagues will receive this message in full measure without any subtraction or addition.

”The way you brought it is the way they will see it. I assure you that justice will not only be done but will be seen to be done Insha Allah,”

Also speaking for the House of Representatives, Hon.Doguwa promised that the house would respect the wishes of workers ,since it was obvious  that they are against the minimum wage bill,   

He added that  the  justice can only be done when the bill is to killed 
His words,“You are in the right place and the right institution.

“May I say on behalf of my Speaker and the entire members of the House of Representatives that we are also by extension, members of the organised Labour. We are your employees.

”By this implication, we have no reason whatsoever to shy away from the interests and yearnings of Nigerian workers. When you are happy, we are happy.

”From what I am seeing now, it is clear that organised Labour is  against that bill", he admitted

“We will still invite you to engage with the relevant committees.”

Wabba however threatened that both  the NLC and its Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, had got  the mandate of  their  affiliate unions to declare a nationwide strike if the issue was not addressed.

Wabba explained that”The issue of National Minimum Wage is a standard set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the first agency of the United Nations(UN) born in 1919 after the first world war. So we have the powers of the UN"

“What I am reiterating  is that: the National Minimum Wage is not a Nigerian standard. It is an international standard, he stressed further 

He also faulted the claim of some of the lawmakers supporting the bill in the spirit of true federalism, saying that

“Their argument is that because they want federalism, they want the issue of the National Minimum Wage to be removed to the Concurrent List. That is false"

“In the countries of the world, we have 26 federal nations that have minimum wage in their Exclusive List,  including the United States. As I speak to you, the minimum wage of America is $10 per hour.

“President Joe Biden came in and the first statement he made was that he is going to review the national minimum wage.

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