Reps to hasten passage of new minimum wage

MEMBERS of the House of Representatives have promised to hasten the passage of an upward review of the minimum wage once it is presented to the National Assembly by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

This was contained in a statement by Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, on Tuesday, August 1.

“The House also welcomes the planned upward review of the national minimum wage and will consider and approve once transmitted to the National Assembly by the Presidency.

“On our part in the House of Representatives, we will closely monitor every MDA that will be involved in the implementation to ensure speedy delivery, equitable distribution, and transparency,” he noted.

The statement comes a day after Tinubu addressed citizens on Monday, July 31, over socio-economic challenges resulting from changes implemented by the current administration, including the removal of fuel subsidy.

In his address, Tinubu promised an upward review of the national minimum wage, among other measures targeted at cushioning the current hardships confronting Nigerians.

“We are also working in collaboration with the Labour unions to introduce a new national minimum wage for workers. I want to tell our workers this: your salary review is coming. Once we agree on the new minimum wage and general upward review, we will make budget provision for it for immediate implementation,” Tinubu said.

He also promised that buses would be rolled out across states and local governments to provide citizens with affordable transportation.

“We have made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3000 units of 20-seater CNG-fuelled buses. These buses will be shared to major transportation companies in the states, using the intensity of travel per capita. Participating transport companies will be able to access credit under this facility at 9 per cent per annum with 60 months’ repayment period,” Tinubu said.

In the statement by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the legislators commended the President’s efforts to mitigate the harsh economic conditions in the country.

“The House commends President Tinubu for his interventions in the manufacturing sector via support for small and medium scale enterprises, as well as the plan to work with the State Governments to invest in critical social and economic infrastructure and to deploy 3,000 commuter buses, amongst other measures.

“The integrated interventions would stimulate economic productivity, boost agriculture production, create jobs, and improve living conditions,” Rotimi further noted.

    Nigerians have been faced with the biting effect of fuel subsidy removal, which took effect upon Tinubu’s assumption of office as President.

    Tinubu declared fuel subsidy gone during his inaugural speech on May 29, which resulted in the immediate hoarding of petrol by marketers and a hike in the pump price of the product by about 200 per cent.

    Transport costs rose as a result and prices of commodities followed suit, leaving many residents in dire straits.

    However, oil and gas analysts argue that the subsidy removal is the right step, as it has been an avenue for smuggling the product outside the country’s shores and other forms of corruption, causing a non-profitable decline in Nigeria’s revenue.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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