Reps to review minimum wage every 5 years

Cheryl Sanders
May 31, 2017

The legal framework, when passed, sets in motion a process for government and organised labour to commence discussions on review of wages every five years.

Democrats are not taking the summer off from their efforts to push for a higher federal minimum wage, but one critic believes that the continued effort is more symbolic than anything else.

"Section 2 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after sub-section 2 a new sub-section 3 to read as follows: "the Minister may by order published in the Federal Gazette review the minimum wage any time before 5 years from the day of last review in the event of some supervening circumstances in the interest of the national economy and Nigerian workers".

The Lagos federal legislator enthused that the passage of the bill would check the current scenario where the decision to increase wages is entirely at the whims and caprices of the executive arm of government.

He noted that thereafter, attempts to discuss a wage review had always resulted in unresolved disputes, threats of strikes and general instability in the work environment.

"The payment of salary and living wage is a major component of the people's welfare. But in fact, a $15-an-hour minimum wage makes it much harder to employ recent high school graduates, teens - people without any skills - so it really would disadvantage many people who now need help in the workplace".

"Other countries have a periodic review of wages embedded in their laws, and workers can actually plan and look up to the review". Under the plan, workers age 18 and over would see the wage jump in increments until 2022.

The majority leader observed that though the 1999 Constitution (as amended), made a provision for the review of pension every five years, it was silent on the review of wages.

"The minimum wage shall be subject to periodic review every five years and the first review shall be effective from January 1, 2017 irrespective of the day the bill comes into force", he said.

"You can not say you are fighting corruption without giving the people the leeway to put bread on their tables", Gbajabiamila stressed.

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