The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has said that the National Assembly is ready to consider and pass a new Minimum Wage Bill whenever it is presented by the executive to it.
The new minimum wage, which has been a major debate between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Federal Government since 2016, for an upward review from 18,000 to 56,000, has seen several attempts by both parties to reach a consensus on the issue.
Saraki told journalists in Abuja that the Senate was aware of the need to review the current minimum wage.
He said that all the indices upon which the last minimum wage of N18, 000 was approved had changed; and that there was, therefore, no need leaving the wage unchanged.
He acknowledged that Nigerians were facing economic hardships, and said that the national assembly was only waiting for the executive to present a bill for a wage review.
He said, “We are in support; we are waiting for the executive. We have told them to go ahead with the idea. I have said it myself and the Speaker of House of Representatives said it the last time that we are fully in support. We are waiting for the executive to make a move on it.”
He said, “We are prodding the executive to do that; we have done that many times; and we are still doing that. It is justifiable to have a new minimum wage.
How will it not be if you look at the challenges the people are going through. More so, all the indices have changed since then, and should that be the only index that should stay the same? It is not possible.”
On the inability of some state governments to pay the current minimum wage, Saraki expressed optimism that all state governors were responsible and would key into a new wage when approved.
“I am not in the state, but I don’t think that any chief executive or any governor will be irresponsible not to want to provide succour for his people.
“But, we have to understand that maybe, they have challenges of affordability,” he said.