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Senate, after third reading, passes minimum wage of N30,000

THE Nigerian  Senate during its plenary session on Tuesday has passed the national minimum wage of 30,000 after the third reading.

Earlier in January the House of Representatives had approved the same National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019.

The passing of the bill today means that the Legislature has approved the sum of N30,000 as the new minimum wage, thus, it remains for President Muhamudu Buhari to sign it into law.

Before the bill was passed, there were discussions raised on the red floor addressing some issues surrounding it. Many of the senators supported the prompt passage.

Barnabas Gemade, a senator representing Benue North East, said the bill should be passed promptly so that the Nigerian workers would know that the “National Assembly is not their problem”.

Also, Ahmad Lawan representing Yobe North the Senate urged the state government not to wait until the workers move for strike action before the wage is approved.

“We do not have to wait until we are threatened with strike action before we take action. The Nigerian workers must show that the government is paying them and they are paying the government in service,” Lawan said.

“What we have done is to give the people a minimum wage. It is not worth it if the states are unable to pay the minimum wage, “Biodun Olujimi, the senator representing Ekiti South added.

After much deliberations, the National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 722) was read the third time and passed.

Speaking on the passage, Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the Nigerian workers for their “patience”. Saraki also praised the leadership of the Labour Union that “have been calling for this minimum wage and have carried their efforts responsibly.”

The Senate President said he hoped the Nigerian workers would double their efforts to increase their productivity with the new minimum wage. “It is my hope that the implementation of this will start immediately.

“Let me also state that as government, we should ensure that at times like these, we should not wait for strikes to do what is truly deserving for our workers,” Saraki concluded.

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