Updated: FG sets up National Minimum Wage Committee
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a National Minimum Wage Committee to deliberate on an agreeable minimum wage for the country.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, said that the committee will be made up of 29 members.
According to him, the members will come from the organized Labour, Federal Government and State Government.
He said “Council deliberated on the report of the joint committee of government on one side and the labour federation of NLC and TUC. If you recall on May 11, 2016, there was a deregulation of oil and gas sector in Nigeria and this resulted in increased we had in the PMS otherwise called petrol and as a result of that, the labour federation kicked against the increase and said that if even the increase will be there, govt should put in place, mechanism to make sure that we do not have further increases.
“In that wise, they said PPPRA board regulatory board should be put in place. Two: they also asked for a review of the minimum wage available to workers in the country in other to enable them have better purchasing power.
“Prior to the increase, they have made a demand of the N56,000 monthly as the lowest paid wage to any Nigerian worker which we call Minimum wage. Thirdly, they said they would need some palliatives to cushion the effect of increase in pump price of petrol, transportation allowances and things like that.
“So, government put in place that committee. That committee finished its work on April 21 and handed the report to the SGF.
“Today at Council, I presented the report with the various recommendations therein and I am happy to let you know that government has approved the setting up of a national minimum wage committee comprising of 29 persons with a chairman ans a secretary.
“Composition of this committee is that, the federal government will contribute 5 persons from the public sector, the state governors who are major stakeholder will contribute 6 governors, one from each geopolitical zone. Then the labour federations will present 8 persons and the organized employers association represented by Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Chamber of Commerce and Small and Medium Enterprises will jointly produce 8 persons. Government will appoint the Chair and the Secretary.” he said
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said that the executive is still analysing and reviewing the 2017 Budget before it can be assented to.
On the recently released statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics, he said “One of the things we discussed in Council was the GDP report for the first quarter which was released yesterday by the NBS. We found the first quarter encouraging even though during the first quarter, we are still in a recession.
“But we found it very encouraging as the best result for the past three or four quarters. And it is a sign that we are moving out of recession.
Interior Minister, Abdulraman Dambazzau said that the Council looked at prison congestion in the country and how to reduce the congestion.
He said “In today’s council, we looked at the situation in Nigerian prisons including the conditions of inmates and state of the prisons themselves. This came out as a result of council’s directive a few weeks back.
“We looked at the criminal justice administration and some of the things we briefed the council are that most of the prisons are old. As a matter of fact, quite a number of them were built about 100 years ago. They are dilapidated and lacked the platform for rehabilitation.
“The major problem is terms of congestion are the issue of awaiting trials of inmates. Today, about 70 persons of waiting trials constitute the prisons inmates, 30 percent of them are convicted.
“So, this is the situation. It gives a lot of stretch to the prisons system in terms of rehabilitation, feeding and providing other essential amenities. It also makes the general administration extremely difficult. So, we made some suggestions as how these problems can be tackled.
“About 200 of those inmates awaiting trials have been in prison for over 11 years. Quite a number of them have been in prison for about 5 to 10 years.
“So, we are looking at ways that through either prerogative of mercy, state pardon or those who are condemned after staying for more than 10 years whether such conviction to death can be committed to life imprisonment and those who have been there as lifers that have served 10 years and above can have some relief. So, these are some of the issues we looked at.” he said
Minister of State for Environment, Usman Jubril, said that the council looked at the issue of aforrestation and sustainable forest management in the country.
“It subsequently approved the take-off of National Forest Trust Fund. You are probably aware that in the last 5 months, we suspended the issue of sighting permit that would allow export semi-proceed woods out of the country,” he stated.
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