Minimum wage committee begins deliberations

The 15-man committee inaugurated by the Federal Government on the implementation of the new minimum wage for workers has started sitting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), gathered from some members of the committee at the weekend that it had met once.

Mr Chris Onyedika, the  acting General Secretary of a faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC )and a member of the 15-man committee, also confirmed that it had started deliberations on the agreement reached between the Federal Government and factions of  NLC in May, this year.

“The 15-man committee will review the Federal Government’s liberalisation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, leading to the new fuel pump price of N145 per litre.

“The committees will discuss and recommend a new national minimum wage, the N500 billion palliatives being proposed by the Federal Government and the re-constitution of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency Board, among other issues, before presenting their recommendations to government,” Onyedika said.

NAN recalled that the government in May, increased the price of petrol from N97.00 to N145 per litre, which led to some agitation and a warning strike by the  organised labour.

The Joint Negotiation Council had also started to agitate for an increase in national minimum wage for workers, which was last reviewed five years ago.

Meanwhile, at this year’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference in Geneva , Switzerland, participants encouraged the ILO to promote the ratification and implementation of the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970.

The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the two central labour organisations in the country, have proposed N56, 000 as the new national minimum wage to the Federal Government, as against the current N18, 000.

The current national minimum wage law which prescribed N18, 000 was enacted in 2011.