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The organised labour movement has said it expects the Senate to replicate the act of patriotism displayed by the House of Representatives by approving the N30,000 monthly national minimum wage recommended by the Tripartite Committee.
The House of Representatives had last week given its support and approval for a unilateral N30,000 minimum wage to all workers in the country.
The Council of State had approved N27,000 for state and private sector workers, while the Federal Government said it would pay N30,000 to federal workers.
Labour, however, has urged the Senate to follow the cue of the House of Representatives and ensure that the bill is passed without further delay.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), in separate statements, applauded the House of Representatives and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) for endorsing the N30,000 monthly minimum wage recommended by the Tripartite Committee set up by the Federal Government.
The TUC president, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, said the action of the lawmakers showed that Nigeria still has men and women with milk of kindness in them.
“We recall that the lawmakers gave their word to speedily facilitate the National Minimum Wage Bill whenever it was brought before it and they have kept their word.
“While we thank you for the brave move, we also urge you to follow the bill through until the Senate and the Federal Government give a go-ahead to effect payment.”
He maintained that labour’s position of N30,000 can be achieved if the governors have the people at heart.
In the same vein, the ASCSN secretary-general, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, noted that, by approving the N30,000 monthly national minimum wage, the House of Representatives had renewed hope that, as representatives of the people, it was committed to promoting the welfare of Nigerians.
“Besides, by accepting the N30,000 monthly national minimum wage unanimously agreed upon after rigorous negotiations by representatives of federal and state governments, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and labour in the Tripartite Committee, the House of Representatives has also enhanced democratic values.
“The decision has equally helped to restore Nigeria’s image as a country, which does not know the meaning of a national minimum wage because that was the impression created before the international community by the National Council of State when it recommended N30,000 monthly for federal workers and N27,000 monthly for state governments and private sector employees,“ the union said.
According to the ASCSN, the House of Representatives had lived up to its promise to give the National Minimum Wage Bill speedy treatment anytime it was brought before it by not only passing the bill after necessary parliamentary readings but also by holding a public hearing on the matter.
“We urge the lawmakers to maintain the momentum and ensure that if the Presidency, for whatever reason shows any sign of reluctance to assent to the Bill, the House of Representatives should work with the Senate to invoke their constitutional powers and override Mr. President on this issue,” the union stressed.
The ASCSN also commended NECA for remaining steadfast by insisting that the N30,000 democratically agreed upon by the Tripartite Committee must be implemented.
“The actions of NECA since the minimum wage saga started to unfold and the stance it took at the public hearing organised by the House of Representatives on the matter shows that the country still has men and women of honour who can stand by the truth,” the union said.