Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that the new minimum wage being proposed, is non-negotiable for any state governor, including the Federal Capital Territory when approved.
Ngige further revealed that some states are making attempts to negotiate a wage that they can afford to pay.
“Some states have been demanding that they be allowed to negotiate with their workers on the minimum wage to enable them come up with what they could afford to pay”
Ngige stressed that the Federal Government is the only entity that can legislate on minimum wage as a national matter, as provided in the Nigerian Constitution,( as amended), which placed the issue on the exclusive list.
According to the minister, the tripartite committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to work out a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers had already swung into action after its inaugural meeting on December 14, 2017, adding that as the deputy chairman of the committee, he would be playing a dual role as a regulator and as a member of the Federal Executive Council.
He said: “The committee, which had brought out a framework that will guide it, will conclude its work by the third quarter of 2018; and then submit its report to enable the Federal Government to issue a white paper and subsequently transmit the content to the National Assembly.
“That is why the President is not over flogging the issue, but he is monitoring the work of the committee. One thing that is clear is that the states will abide by whatever will be the outcome of the work of the committee because they (governors) have nominees there.
“The Governors’ Forum is represented in the committee; and the Federal Government component is represented by five ministers and the Head of Service of the Federation. It will therefore be against the spirit of the Constitution for the states to have their own minimum wage.”