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Pay new minimum wage before 2020, including arrears from April, FEC directs finance minister

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THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday instructed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to begin the payment of the new minimum wage structure “on or before December 31, 2019”.

The Nation Newspaper reported that the Labour Minister Chris Ngige disclosed this resolution after the weekly FEC meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister also said the council approved that the payment should be effected from April 18, when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the amendment into law.

With Buhari in Sochi, Russia for a three-day Russia-Africa Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting.

The Trade Union side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) had urged the government in a statement released on Monday to ensure all arrears of the minimum wage from April are paid “so as not to trigger off another avoidable round of agitation”.

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According to The Nation, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika also disclosed after the meeting that N1.7 billion was approved for the purchase and installation of communication equipment to be used at airport towers in Zaria and Katsina.

The contract, projected to be completed within eight months, is aimed at ensuring safety and efficiency.

Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, said the council equally approved the use of methanol, a chemical used as fuel and derivable from natural gas, in local industries.

With the FEC’s decision, the chemical can now be used for cooking and as transportation fuel, as a way of reducing gas flaring.

Onu emphasised that methanol is a cheap and safe alternative which will not only curb environmental pollution but also reduce deforestation. Ensuring its use becomes widespread will be done with the support of the private sector, he said.

The council also approved a name-change for the Ministry of Communication, which is now to be referred to as the “Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy”.

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