Minimum wage panel collates zonal hearing reports

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The Federal Government Minimum Wage Panel has begun the collation of various zonal public hearing reports.

The Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Yusuf Kachalla, disclosed this on Wednesday.

The Federal Government in January announced its plans to implement a new minimum wage to reflect the current economic realities.

The current national minimum wage is N30,000, which the labour unions have argued is no longer realistic, given the galloping inflation in the country, which is now 29.9 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

President Bola Tinubu, in his New Year broadcast, said his administration was committed to implementing a new minimum wage to give Nigerian workers an improved welfare.

The government subsequently set up a tripartite committee on January 30, 2024 to determine a new minimum wage.

The 37-man committee is chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.

The committee had the terms of reference to “consult all stakeholders on the issue of national minimum wage and recommend a realistic and practical national minimum wage to the government.”

In furtherance of the assignment, a zonal public hearing held simultaneously on March 7 in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa and Abuja.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria in different states proposed various figures as a living wage, referencing the current economic crunch and the high costs of living.

In their different proposals on the minimum wage, the NLC asked the South West states to pay N794,000 as the TUC mentioned N447,000.

At the North Central zone hearing in Abuja, the workers demanded N709,000 as the new national minimum wage, while at the South South N850,000 minimum wage was demanded.

In the North West, N485,000 was proposed, while the South East stakeholders demanded N540,000 minimum wage.

Meanwhile, governors present at the zonal hearing demanded a review of the revenue allocation formula to enable them to implement the proposed national minimum wage.

When approached for an update on the committee’s activities on Wednesday, the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Kachalla, said, “The committee is collating the various reports on zonal hearing first.

“The next meeting will be fixed very soon.”