Reps May Allow States To Determine Minimum Wage

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The Federal Government may soon lose its exclusive power to negotiate and determine the minimum wage for workers across the three tiers of government.

The House of Representatives is considering an amendment to the 1999 Constitution by removing matters relating to wages from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.

When a bill becomes law , respective states and local governments will determine different wages for their workers.

The legislation is titled, ‘ A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) to , Among Others, Transfer the Subject Matter of Minimum Wage Prescription from the Exclusive Legislative List Set Out Under Part I of the Second Schedule to the Concurrent Legislative List Set Out Under Part II of the Second Schedule to the Constitution ; and for Related Matters ’.

The bill sponsored by Mr Garba Datti Muhammad , which is at second reading, is seeking to make respective governments to determined wages in accordance to available resources.
Muhammad expressed hope that the Federal Government, the organised labour , and the governors would support the proposal . He stated that allowing the Federal Government to solely determine a uniform wage for all states, irrespective of their individual economic capacity , was unfair .

Muhammad said , “ Let every state pay according to what it has. But labour always looks at it from the point of ‘you want to weaken the organised Labour so that the government will always have a say’. Every labour union in the states should negotiate with the respective state governments . ”

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