Femi Falana Urges National Assembly To Pass New Minimum Wage Act Within 48 Hours

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Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has advised the National Assembly to pass the new Minimum Wage Act the same way the new National Anthem Act was enacted within 48 hours, last week.

Falana, who disclosed this in a press release on Sunday, June 2, noted that the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 has expired.

He said: “Pursuant to the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 the national minimum wage was fixed at N30,000. By virtue of section 3(4) of the Act 2019 the national minimum wage expires after five years, and it shall be reviewed in line with the provisions of this Act.

“Since the commencement date of the Act was the 18th day of April 2019, the national minimum wage of N30,000 has since expired.

“Hence, the Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, announced during the last May Day rally in Abuja that the new national minimum wage would take effect on May 1, 2024.

“Following the removal of fuel subsidy last year, the Federal Government had announced an additional N35,000 wage award (wage subsidy) for six months, starting from 1 September 2023. During the 6-month period, the total monthly wage payable to a worker was N65,000. In the same vein, the various state governments awarded various sums as wage subsidy to their workers. Both Lagos and Edo State Governments have since announced a minimum wage of N70,000.

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“Curiously, the Federal Government turned round to offer a minimum wage of N48,000. Hence, the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have embarked on an indefinite strike due to the failure of the Federal Government and other employers of employment to pay a realistic new minimum wage to Nigerian workers. However, it has been reported that the leaders of the National Assembly have intervened in the planned strike.

“The National Assembly should, therefore, pass speedily a new National Minimum Wage Act like the new National Anthem Act that was enacted within 48 hours, last week”.

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