Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, says that the Technical Committee on Minimum Wage and Palliatives will submit its report to the Presidency soon.
Ngige said this while briefing newsmen on the update of the meeting held between government and labour at the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) office, on Thursday in Abuja.
On June 3, 2016 a joint technical committee of the Federal Government and organised labour was inaugurated on palliatives and minimum wage.
It was meant to cushion effects of the increase in the pump price of petrol after the NLC nationwide strike and protest against the increase by the Federal Government from N86.50 to N145.
The Technical Committee was expected to discuss the minimum wage and other palliatives to cushion the effect of the hike on the workers as well as other Nigerians.
According to Ngige, the committee at its final meeting between the Federal Government and Labour made recommendations on the issue of the review of minimum wage and the prescription of palliatives.
“The committee is supposed to put up a framework for the composition, functions and establishment of a minimum wage tripartite committee to review the hitherto existing 2011 minimum wage.
“The committee is to prescribe to government the areas of palliatives that will cushion the effect of the increase in pump price of petrol.
“The committee has finally finished its work, so we held a meeting to finalise the report.
“If everything goes well and date is agreeable to everybody, we may be submitting the technical report sometimes next week to the presidency, ‘’ he said.
Ngige said that the presidency is expected to set up a tripartite committee which would include government, employers and Labour.
He noted that the technical committee made far reaching recommendations but subject to the approval of the presidency.
“For the first time we recommended that three governors should be nominated by their colleagues to represent them in the committee to review the minimum wage.
“Because, from the past experience, even some states have not been able to pay the minimum wage, so it does not make sense if we do not involve them as employers.
“So, when the National Minimum Wage Committee finishes its work, it will go to the National Assembly because it is an issue on the exclusive list,‘’ he added.
He, however, said the technical committee also made some recommendations on palliative, which the Federal Government was already implementing.
Ngige said that the 2017 budget for instant, would tackle the issue of housing deficit head-on.
He also noted that it was part of the recommendation that the Ministry of Power Works and Housing should inject N45 billion for mass housing, while the Ministry of Finance has voted more fund for mass housing
Ngige added that the Office of Head of Service was also doing something on mass housing for workers.
“Our recommendations also talk about how the Federal Mortgage Bank will be strengthened through capitalisation by all stakeholders including government to discharge its functions to workers.
“We also made recommendations on how the mass transit bus for workers should be strengthened.
“Other recommendations on the palliative are N-Power, Conditional Cash, Transfers, School feeding programme, among others,‘’ he said.
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