Amid rising cost of living and attendant impact on the extant N18,000 minimum wage, organised labour has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to further delay the implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000 recently approved by both chambers of the National Assembly.
The implementation of the new minimum wage can only commence if the president signed its bill into law.
Members of the organised labour under the aegis of the Trade Union Side (TUS) of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) said on Wednesday that they expected the presidency to expedite action on the matter given that the new minimum wage had been due since 2016.
Recall that the House of Representatives and the Senate approved N30,000 monthly minimum wage recommended by the 30-man tripartite committee on the National Minimum Wage which was set up by the Federal Government in 2017.
Labour believed that President Buhari should do the needful by signing the bill into Law.
AbdrafiuAlani Adeniji, chairman, TUS and Alade Bashir Lawal, secretary, who spoke in Lagos, said that the tripartite committee on National Minimum Wage and the National Assembly having played their roles, it was now left to the president to sign the bill into effect.
“All that is now left is for the president as the father of the nation to sign the bill into law and bring the national minimum wage to a positive conclusion.
“The Nigerian people including millions of workers gave President Buhari a resounding victory at the poll for his second term in office and as such we expect Mr. President to reciprocate this gesture by signing the N30,000 monthly wage bill into law without further delay,” they said.
According to the TUS, the current N18,000 monthly minimum wage has become very much inadequate and workers are finding it extremely difficult to cope with daily challenges thrown up skyrocketing prices of goods and services. This underscores the need for Mr. President to sign into law the N30,000.000 bill so that appropriate bodies that will work out the consequential adjustments arising from the new national minimum can be put in place.
They argued further that “ state and local governments should also be prepared to implement the national minimum wage so as to boost the morale and productivity of their workers.”
The TUS urged the three tiers of government to realise that the welfare of the people is the main reason why Governments exist in the first instance.
“They should, therefore, take special interest in the well-being of their workers that oil the wheels of governments by implementing the new national minimum wage as soon as it becomes law,” the labour leaders said.