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Shettima inaugurates 37-member committee on national minimum wage

On Tuesday, Vice President Kashim Shettima inaugurated a 37-man tripartite committee on the national minimum wage to recommend a new wage for the country.

Mr Shettima, while inaugurating the committee at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, reaffirmed the determination of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to improve the welfare of workers in the country.

The vice president, who noted that the labour force stands as the cornerstone of every nation’s progress, welcomed the committee’s nominees comprising government employers and the labour unions.

He said that since the removal of the fuel subsidy, various committees have been established and have made recommendations to the government on measures to cushion the painful effect of the increase on workers and Nigerians at large.

“We have identified the need for the review of the national minimum wage and to consider a minimum wage level that can alleviate the sufferings of the people.

“It gladdens my heart that the recommendation is being acted upon today, and we can all acknowledge that this is in line with our democratic process and adherence to the rule of law,” said Mr Shettima.

Mr Shettima noted that, given the comprehensive membership scope of the new national minimum wage committee, all stakeholders must recognise the significance of the initiative.

“And to ensure substantial engagements, the president hereby directs that ministers and heads of service of the federation personally attend the meetings; in their unavoidable absence, their permanent secretaries should represent them.

“Similarly, our executive governors are expected to attend in person or be represented by their deputies where necessary,” he added.

The vice president urged committee members to consider the issue of the national minimum wage and all related matters with thoroughness and concern, keeping in mind the welfare of the workforce and the impact on the country’s economy.

He said that the issue of the national minimum wage for the federation falls within the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

“Therefore, our objective should be to provide basic social protection for all Nigerian workers, considering the sustainable payment capacity of each tier of government and other employers or businesses,” said Mr Shettima.

He disclosed that the government’s decision following the consideration of the committee’s final recommendations would be presented as an executive bill to the National Assembly.

“The bill, enriched by the contributions of state government and private sector employers, will undergo thorough legislative scrutiny before being passed into law,” he stated.

The vice president said that the committee is expected to conclude its deliberations promptly and submit its reports and recommendations to the government.

Mr Shettima revealed that Mr Tinubu had directed the Minister of Finance, as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, to allocate essential funds and logistics to the committee to ensure the timely completion of the assignment.

Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, said the committee’s work would be instrumental in shaping the country’s economic landscape.

The committee chairman, Bukar Goni-Aji, assured that the committee would work diligently to arrive at a new minimum wage that is fair, practical, implementable, and sustainable for the country’s good.

(NAN)

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