By Nasir Kura
The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday resolved to refer the new N30,000 minimum wage as demanded by the organised labour to the National Council of State, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting.
“There is no outcome as such, it’s a work in progress. The information minister told you the other day after the Federal Executive Council that we are taking our deliberations to the National Economic Council and then we close up on the 22nd at the National Council of State after that we will be able to say where we are going.
“Figures, frequency of review, those that have exemption and everything about the bill will be dealt with so that people will know. Because by then we will be ready to transmit it to the National Assembly in consonance with our agreement with labour that we will transmit the new bill on or before the 23rd of January,” he said.
On governors insistence that the N30,000 minimum wage was beyond what they can afford, the minister said: “It’s not a question that the governors are saying that they can’t pay N30,000, discussions are still ongoing and will terminate on 22nd January when we meet with the National council of state.”
Asked if the governors are shifting ground, Ngige said: “Governors are part of Nigeria and they are part of the government‘s public sector, so don’t disengage them or disarticulate them from the federal government, the public is the federal government and the state government and even the local government.”
The National Council of State is made up of the President, who is the chairman; Vice President, who is the deputy chairman; former presidents and former heads of government, governors of the 36 states of the federation, former Chief Justices of Nigeria; President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Attorney General of the Federation, among others.