While speaking to newsmen at his residence in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said that the September date was just a date to conclude negotiation on the issue of minimum wage.
According to The Nation, the minister said that the committee on the new National Minimum wage is expecting to conclude its work by the end of September and present its report to the government for deliberation and approval before an executive bill is sent to the National Assembly on the issue.
He said however that the issue of capacity to pay is also paramount in the deliberations on the minimum wage, pointing out that it was to get the input of all those concerned including state governments and the organised private sector that the committee embarked on zonal public hearing across the country.
The Minister said further that in the course of the zonal public hearings, many state governments made different submissions ranging from N22, 000 monthly to N58, 000, adding that the governors were also of the believe that foe the new minimum wage to become effective, the current revenue allocation formula will have to be reviewed in favour of the states and local government.
Ngige disclosed further that some other states are also of the view that the minimum wage should be maintained at the current N18, 000 in view of the inability of some states to pay the current wages.
Senator Ngige said when the minimum wage committee concludes its report, it will be submitted to the National Council of State and the Federal Executive Council for approval before a bill is sent to the National Assembly to legalize the work of the committee.
He said even though it was not an easy task, the committee was making progress in its assigned responsibility, pointing out that it was in other to carry everybody, including the states and private sector along that six governors were elected to be members of the committee as well as representatives of the organised private sector.
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