What Buhari said about new minimum wage for Nigerian workers (FULL SPEECH)

President-Muhammadu-Buhari speaking
President Muhammadu Buhari talking

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated a 30-member minimum wage committee for Nigerian workers.

While inaugurating the committee, the president charged said, “We should aim to go above the basic Social Protection Floor for all Nigerian workers based on the ability of each tier of government to pay.”

Read the president’s full speech below.

SPEECH BY MR. PRESIDENT ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE TRIPARTITE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE COMMITTEE ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS, ASO ROCK PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA

We are gathered here today to address issues concerning the welfare of the Nigerian people. Like his counterpart all over the world, the Nigerian worker is a vital element in the growth and development of modern nations. I therefore welcome the nominees of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee who have been selected for the very important task of renegotiating the National Minimum Wage for our workers.

2. We all know that the last Minimum Wage Instrument has expired, and it is in recognition of the need to ensure a fair and decent living wage that the Federal Government put in motion necessary mechanism so that we can today inaugurate this large committee with a big task ahead of you.

3. You are all aware that during the period following the increase in Petrol Pump Price in May 2016, a Technical Committee was established to examine and make recommendations to Government on the measures to be adopted to cushion the envisaged painful effects of the increase on workers and the Nigerian populace at large.

4. During the deliberations of the Technical Committee which comprised Government and Organized Labour, the need for the review of the National Minimum Wage was highlighted and recommendation to set up a committee to look into the level of minimum wage was made accordingly. I am glad that the recommendation is being acted upon today and we can all acknowledge that this is in line with our democratic process. I wish to thank all those who participated in that exercise.

5. Considering the scope of the membership of this new National Minimum Wage Committee we can see that it is encompassing all stakeholders. My hope is that, the outcome of the deliberations of the Committee would be consensual and generally acceptable. I therefore urge you to amicably consider the issue of a National Minimum Wage and all matters that are ancillary to it with thoroughness and concern not only for the welfare of our work-force but the effect on the country’s economy.

6. The subject of a National Minimum Wage for the Federation is within the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Accordingly, we should aim to go above the basic Social Protection Floor for all Nigerian workers based on the ability of each tier of Government to pay.

7. I say this because minimum wage is the minimum amount of compensation an employee must receive for putting in his or her labour and as such should be anchored on Social Justice and Equity.

8. Government’s decision after considering your final recommendation will be sent as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for it to undergo appropriate legislative scrutiny before passage into law.

9. As is evident by the membership of the Committee, State Governors and Private Sector Employers are part of this process. This will ensure ease of implementation of a new Minimum Wage nationwide.

10. I am hopeful that the principles of full consultation with Social Partners and their direct participation would be utilized by the Committee, bearing in mind the core provisions of the International Labour Organisation Minimum Wage Fixing Convention No. 131 and Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention No.26 (ratified by Nigeria).

11. Accordingly, conditions of genuine Social Dialogue should prevail in the spirit of Tripartism and Collective Bargaining Agreements. I therefore enjoin you all to collectively bargain in good faith, have mutual recognition for each other and always in a spirit of give and take.

12. The Committee is expected to complete its deliberations and submit its report and recommendations as soon as possible to enable other requisite machinery to be set in motion for implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

I wish you fruitful deliberations and I am very happy to inaugurate this Committee.


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  • JOHN

    This process is long overdue. Remember that at the time of the enactment of the expired minimum wage according to law, the value of the #18,000 minimum wage was about 185 dollars. As at today, the value of 185 dollars is about #68,000. So for this exercise to be just and equitable, the committee must strive for a minimum of 200 dollars equivalent and that is about #72,000 minimum as minimum living wage in Nigeria. Anything short of that is a scam and injustice. The truth is that every employer of labour be it the FG, state governments, local governments and organized private sector have the capacity to pay. All they need to do is to be responsible, creative, patriotic and corrupt free. Nigerians have suffered enough especially since Buhari took over. Prices of essential items have gone up by over 500%. Life have become so unbearable for Nigerians such that the rate of suicide is the highest now in the history of Nigeria. The committee is warned not to sell out and accept bribes to do the wrong things.

    • AGOFURE KINGSLEY

      true talk

  • Igyundunase Dominic

    Oh! This is not quite ok. The president should have given this committee a time frame to guide them as they work.

    • Felix Peter Irek

      The president speech is not encouraging and does not give the requisite yearning that Nigerian workers want to hear. there are so many clause in the speech. eg-” base on the ability of each tiers of government to pay”. ” as soon as possible”. how soon is it? in fact the president is not serious. NLC you have to read between line and act fast. ALUTA CONTINUAL!

  • Bayei

    Rubbish! No time frame. Scam. Till after 2019. Useless Government…

  • AGOFURE KINGSLEY

    i percieve politice, how long will this issue be solved, my Son have grown up to meet up this Issue of Minimum wages!, so bad