A bill seeking to increase the country’s minimum wage from N18,000 to N27,000, on Thursday passed the first and second reading at the Senate.
This is following a letter sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the lawmakers for their consideration which was read by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, on the floor of the upper legislative chamber.
The letter read, “The purpose of the letter is to forward to the lawmakers, for legislative action, a new minimum wage bill to further amend the national minimum wage amendment act 2011 in order to give a new national minimum wage of N27,000 per month to the lowest paid Nigerian worker from the current N18,000 per month.
“This new bill and the amendments contained therein, were arrived at after consultations by the tripartite committee on national minimum wage which was constituted by me in November 2017 to consider, make recommendations and advice the government on this issue.
“The tripartite committee comprise representatives of the federal government, governors’ forum, organised private sector and organised federations of trade unions in Nigeria. The federal executive council (FEC), National Executive Council, National Council of state have all noted and approved this recommended amendment.”
The deputy senate president, Ahmed Lawan, moved that order 79 of the rules be suspended so that the bill could be passed the first and second time after the letter was read.
However, the minority leader, Biodun Olujimi, said the bill should not be “another election gimmick.”
“We will work hard, but it is important that this does not become another election gimmick. Let the people who should get paid, actually get paid,” Olujimi said.
On his part, Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, urged his colleagues to “see to the realisation of this bill.”
The bill passed second reading after Ekweremadu put it to a voice vote.