All employers must pay new national minimum wage — NLC

NLC PRESIDENT, COMRADE AYUBA WABBA, GIVING HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says the new minimum wage recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is binding on all employers of labour in the country.

The president of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

Mr Wabba said the new minimum wage has become binding, having been approved by the two chambers of the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NLC boss lamented about the varying salary structure of the public and civil service, calling for a guide to streamline the system.

He also called for an increase in the payment of pensions and gratuity to retired Nigerian workers.

“It (minimum wage) goes side by side with pensions. The Constitution says anytime there is an increase in the minimum wage, automatically pensioners should also benefit,” he said.

He said some pensioners are paid as low as N5,000 monthly. “Certainly, we know that nobody can live these days on N5,000,” he said.

Speaking on employers who fail to pay the minimum wage, the labour leader said penalty would be slammed on them in accordance with the law.

Mr Wabba said the minimum wage should be reviewed for increment on a 5-year basis owing to inflation and other issues.

He said only employers whose workers are less than 25 are exempted from the monthly N30,000 salary payment.

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“Going forward, it is actually the implementation by employers of labour. All employers of labour, except those that are exempted, particularly those that are employing less than 25,” he said.

He said the workers expect the Salaries and Wages Commission to issue a guideline and circular for various employers of labour to key into the implementation.

Premium Times reported that labour unions on Thursday warned that no state chapter of the labour movement would accept any renegotiation for downward review of the already signed national minimum wage law of N30,000 from any state governor.

Mr Wabba said the Nigerian workers were under strict instructions not to accept any minimum wage less than N30,000 from the governors.

President Muhammadu Buhari had challenged Nigerian workers to justify the signing into law of the new N30,000 National Minimum wage Act by showing more commitment to their work.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, had earlier said the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage would take effect from April 18.

According to him, the bill now makes it mandatory for employers of labour in the public and private sectors to pay N30, 000 as minimum wage.

The NLC had embarked on a four-day strike after it threatened an indefinite strike from November 6 over their demand for a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

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