A bill seeking to increase the country’s minimum wage from N18,000 to N27,000 passed first and second reading at the senate on Thursday.
This was sequel to a letter which President Muhammadu Buhari sent to the lawmakers for their consideration.
The letter was read by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, on the floor of the upper legislative chamber.
“The purpose of the letter is to forward to the lawmakers, for legislative action, a new minimum wage bill to further amend the national minimum wage amendment act 2011 in order to give a new national minimum wage of N27,000 per month to the lowest paid Nigerian worker from the current N18,000 per month,” the letter read.
“This new bill and the amendments contained therein, were arrived at after consultations by the tripartite committee on national minimum wage which was constituted by me in November 2017 to consider, make recommendations and advice the government on this issue.
“The tripartite committee comprise representatives of the federal government, governors’ forum, organised private sector and organised federations of trade unions in Nigeria. The federal executive council (FEC), National Executive Council, National Council of state have all noted and approved this recommended amendment.”
After the letter was read, Ahmed Lawan, deputy senate president, moved that order 79 of the rules be suspended so that the bill could be passed the first and second time.
But Biodun Olujimi, minority leader, said the bill should not be “another election gimmick.”
“We will work hard, but it is important that this does not become another election gimmick. Let the people who should get paid, actually get paid,” Olujimi said.
On his part, Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, urged his colleagues to “see to the realisation of this bill.”
“Though this may not be enough, productivity is sure to increase,” Sani said.
The bill passed second reading after Ekweremadu put it to a voice vote.
The council of state had approved N27,000 at its last meeting on Tuesday.