Nigeria sets up committee on minimum wage

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

The Nigerian government has approved the setting up of a 29-member committee to look into the issue of minimum wage.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the approval followed the submission of the report of a joint committee of labour and government set up following the May 11, 2016 deregulation of the oil and gas industry and subsequent increase in the price of premium motor spirit.

The Minister was speaking after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

“National Minimum Wage Committee would be made up of five members from the Nigerian government, six members would come from the state governments while labour would be represented by eight members,” he said.

The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Association and Small and Medium Enterprises would jointly be represented on the committee by eight members.

Senator Ngige said the government would appoint the chairman and secretary of the committee.

Palliatives
On palliatives to cushion the effect of the increase in the pump price of petrol, the council accepted that labour be part of the monitoring of the implementation of the palliatives.

“The Federal Executive Council directed the ministers of Budget and Planning, Finance, Labour as well as the Head of Service of the Federation to put in mechanism towards offsetting arrears of salaries and accumulated benefits,” the Minister explained.

Council lifts suspension on wood exportation
The Minister of State for Environment, Mr Ibrahim Jibril said the Federal Executive Council also approved the lifting of the five-month suspension on the exportation of processed and semi-processed woods out of Nigeria.

“With the approval we got from the Federal Executive Council, the Ministry of Environment is now in a position to lift the suspension so that those who are involved in legitimate trade in wood and wood-related business can now resume their economic activities,” Mr Jibril stated.

According to him, the new policy approved is geared towards sustainable forest management by ensuring that those who trade in wood plant new trees.

Mr Jibril stressed that the ministry would write to the Ministry of Finance on the pproval to lift the suspension on the issuance of certificates for Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species.

The new policy would generate more revenue from the Ministry of Environment and help in management of Nigeria’s forestry reserves.

The Minister added that the Nigerian government and the state governments would partner because forestry reserves are in the states.

Confidence Okwuchi