• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Minimum Wage: FG committee meets to consider final reports today

Minimum wage negotiation and the nexus with food inflation

The 37 man federal government tripartite committee on Minimum Wage will today meet in Abuja to consider final reports of the various subcommittees on the new national minimum wage.

BusinessDay gathered that the committee will consider reports on the new minimum wage recommendations, as well as set up a sub committee that will draft the final report to be presented to the federal executive council FEC.

Other issues lined up for deliberations at the meeting which will take place at the Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja, include sanctions for violations and procedures for reporting violations.

The tripartite committee will also receive reports on the survey of the informal sector of the economy, 2023, as well as those of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission NSIWC.

Recall that Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State fir Labour and Employment had at the Workers Day celebration, stated that the new minimum wage will take effect from 1st of May, 2024, whenever it is passed for implementation.

The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, had recommended a new minimum wage of N615,000, which it said was arrived at, after painstakingly computing the monthly cost of living of Nigerian workers, with food, transportation taking the lion share.

The computation released by the NLC, shows that at N9,000 per day, a person is expected to spend as much as N270,000 in 30 days

Each worker is also projected to spend as much as N110,000, every month on transportation in a month.

The Union said the figure was a product of a painstaking effort through which we captured the cost of living of Nigerian workers and masses in all parts of the country.

The NLC explained that the N615,000 was arrived at after an independent research, with respondents across the 36 states of the federation where the union has its affiliates.

“It was essentially an outcome of an independent research conducted by the NLC and TUC on the cost of meeting the primary needs of an average family around the country. Our research was based on a family with both parents alive and four children without the burden of having other dependents with them.

“A questionnaire was designed and sent to all the State Councils of NLC and TUC from where these questionnaires were sent to our members in all the Local government areas in the country to gather the monthly cost of living for the average family as described above. Below is a summary of our findings and we hope that this will enable Nigerians understand what propels our demand so that better clarity is made to create better engagement around the ongoing National Minimum Wage Negotiation process.

The NLC said it deliberately omitted certain elements from the basket used in calculating the N615,000, such as call data, church or mosque offerings, community dues, entertainment, savings and security, amongst others

“ It should also be noted that we have not included things like expenditure on calls and data, offerings in churches and Mosques, community dues, entertainment, savings and Security etc. These are therefore just for the bare necessities.

“ We arrived at this figure before the increase in electricity tariff and the recent scarcity of Petrol across the nation leading to the appearance of long queues with attendant increased transport fares. Any figure below this amount becomes a starvation wage and condemns Nigerian workers and their families to perpetual poverty.

“We have to remember that the old one having expired on the 18th day of April, 2024, a new one is expected to have come into effect on the 19th day of April, 2024. However, because of government’s inability to comply with the Law that demanded for negotiations for a new national minimum wage to have begun 6 (six) months before the expiration of the existing one, concluding the new one has become unfortunately delayed.

“We are sure that our social partners would see our demonstration of understanding, sacrifice and reasonableness in our demands thus accepts this figure without much delay. We also enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to implore the Government and Employers to meet our demands for the sake of justice, equity and national development”

This is as the federal government said it will need a Supplementary budget to be able to implement the new wage when it is passed into law.