The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has approved a 29-member National Minimum Wage Committee to negotiate with labour unions and work out a new minimum wage.
This disclosure was made known by the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, at the end of the meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday, May 24.
According to him, members will be drawn from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Organised Private Sector and the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
Mr. Ngige said the committee was set up as part of the effort to come to terms with the agitation for better pay by Nigerian workers.
The country currently has N18,000 as national minimum wage, which is seen by the workers as grossly inadequate, while labour unions have made it known that it would want an increase to N56,000.
Last Friday, Ngige had said FEC would review the report of the joint committee on the National Minimum Wage.
He said the 16-man Technical Committee on Minimum Wage and Palliatives had submitted its report to the main committee, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
”The report was adopted just last week by the 29 -man joint committee.
”So the report is now being taken to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval next week(this week) and then the Acting President will constitute a National Minimum Wage Review Committee.
“This National Minimum Wage Review Committee will then fix a new minimum wage for the country.
”It has become imperative for a new minimum wage, because the last minimum wage has a life span of five years – it was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan- and it elapsed by Aug. 2016,” he had said.
On whether the Federal Government may agree to labours’ demand on N56,000 as minimum wage, Mr. Ngige said a minimum wage is simply “offer and counter-offer” which would lead to a consensus.