New Minimum Wage: Crisis Looms As Lawmakers Plan To Go On Another Recess

The moves by the Federal Government and the organised labour to finalise the new minimum wage issue this month face yet another crisis.

 Sources at the National Assembly told The PUNCH on Sunday that the legislature plans to go on another recess ahead of the presentation of an executive bill on a new minimum wage by the presidency, which is one of the agreements reached between the government and the worker unions.

The National Assembly is on Christmas and New Year recess and will resume on Tuesday.

While the Presidency plans to transmit National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Bill to the National Assembly on January 23, sources in the leadership of the National Assembly told our correspondent that the lawmakers might go on another recess by January 24.

 He said, “The lawmakers will close on that day to allow members to participate in electioneering, ahead of general elections which will begin in February.”

 The Federal Government and the organised labour had on Tuesday reached an agreement that the Presidency would send the minimum wage bill to the National Assembly after their meetings.

When contacted for his comment, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, said work would continue on legislative activities except when the lawmakers were on recess.

  Speaking on the readiness of the lawmakers to expedite work on the bill, Namdas said, “It is a priority; once it is brought (to the legislature) by the executive, we will consider it as a matter of priority.”

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who observed that workers had been patient with government for more than two years, had said, “The National Assembly will be back on January 16 from their recess; so on or before January 23, the bill must have been transmitted.

“We will shift our lobby to the National Assembly because once the bill is enacted; the money will be in the pocket of workers. We are tired of stories and that is why we insisted on a timeline.”

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