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Aremu urges technical committee on minimum wage not to derail

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Issa Aremu

National Executive Council (NEC) member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has urged the newly inaugurated Bismarck Rewane-led Technical Advisory Committee on the implementation of National Minimum Wage to be focused.

Aremu, who is labour representative on the National Income and wages commission, lauded the committee’s mandate of looking into the implications of the wage on workers already earning above the N30, 000 minimum wage.

Aremu in a statement said it was reassuring “that President Muhammadu Buhari reaffirmed commitment to the wage, in his discussion with organised labour, to send an Executive Bill to National Assembly before January 23.”

He commended the composition of the technical committee, which, he said was made up of eminent experts.

However, he said, “it was desirable that the representatives of organised labour were parties to the implementation,’ of what he called ‘critical labour market issues like minimum wage and slavery review for other categories of workers earning above the minimum.”

He said: “Ideally, the best statutory committee to drive the mandate of the Bismarck Committee would have been the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC).”

The labour leader explained that the 25-year old commission provides technical input to the work of Tripartite Committees, in the determination and fixing of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), made up of government, the organised labour and organised employers.”

He recalled how the NMW had performed this role during the work of the tripartite committee in 2000, leading to the fixing of N5, 500 as the then new minimum wage.

He further cited the committee’s involvement in the 2011 national minimum wage of N18, 000.

He added: “The Executive Chairman of the commission, Richard Ebule, had also served in the committee that midwifed the N30, 000 national minimum wage as a member/secretary.


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