All states must pay the new minimum wage, Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has said that all states of the federation and the FCT would abide by the new minimum wage, which is already in the works.

Some states have been demanding that they be allowed to negotiate with their workers on the minimum wage to enable them come up with what they could afford to pay.

 Ngige who spoke after flagging off the proposed skills acquisition center being constructed at Ifitedunu in Dunukofia local government area of Anambra State at the weekend, said the minimum wage is a national matter and as such, only the federal government could legislate on it as provided in the Nigerian constitution.

The former Anambra Governor said the tripartite committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to work out a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers had already swung into action.

He said: “The committee, which had brought out a framework that will guide it, will conclude its work by the third quarter of 2018 and then submit its report to enable the Federal Government Issue a white paper and subsequently transmit the content to the National Assembly.

“That is why the President is not over flogging the issue, but he is monitoring the work of the committee. One thing that is clear is that the states will abide by whatever will be the outcome of the work of the committee because they (governors) have nominees there.

“The Governors’ Forum is represented in the committee and the Federal Government component is represented by five Ministers and the Head of Service of the Federation. It will therefore be against the spirit of the constitution for the states to have their own minimum wage.”

The ex-lawmaker insisted that the national minimum wage would be the baseline, adding that states that could afford it could pay more, but not below the national minimum wage.

Your opinion count, let read it!