Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Minimum Wage Repel and Enactment Act 2019 for workers in both public and private sector.
The Act, which takes effect from Thursday April 18, 2019, mandates employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their employees a minimum wage of N30,000 monthly.
The Senior Special Adviser to thePresident on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Enang, however, explained that the Act excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers; persons who work in a ship which sails out of jurisdiction; and other persons who are in other kinds of regulated employment which are accepted by the Act.
He said that the Act also gives the workers the right if they are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than N30,000, to sue their employer to recover the balance.
The Presidential aide said that the Act authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour, or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to “on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of your wages.”
“It also ensures and mandates National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Minister or Labour, to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law. And this law applies to all agencies, persons and bodies throughout the Nigeria.”
On when the Act comes into effect, Enang said, “the effective date is 18th of April, 2019, as Mr. President has assented to. It has been assented to today and it takes effect today, except such other provisions as are contained in the Act.
“But the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commences today (Thursday), including such steps that are to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act,” he said.
On what is expected of the workers, the presidential aide said: “I want Nigerian workers to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari, to support this administration, support his policies and of course we will as a government go out and match together along with Nigerian workers on workers’ day.
“Mr. President will celebrate with workers and the federal government will celebrate. This is Mr. President showing workers the lover he has for them and we are matching as we will match with the Nigerian workers.
Asked if it the new minimum wage covers the National Youth Service Corps, Enang said: “It covers all persons covered by the Act.”