The Senate has vowed to fast track the consideration and passage of a new Minimum Wage Bill for the country.

This follows the suspension of the strike by the Organised Labour for five days to allow uninterrupted meetings with the tripartite committee on the new national minimum wage.

Reacting to the development, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, during the plenary in Abuja on Tuesday, commended the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC for suspending their indefinite strike.

Earlier, the Senator representing Plateau Central, Diket Plang, who chairs the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment, had sponsored a motion calling on the NLC and TUC to suspend the strike.

However, during the debate on the motion, the chamber learned that the NLC and TUC had suspended their strike action for one week to allow for further negotiations with the Federal Government.

Following the information, the Senate stepped down the motion.

Akpabio said, “Taking it (motion) will mean that we are jumping the gun and trying to settle the issues for them.

“There are many variables that they will look at – capacity to pay and the ability of states, local governments and private sector to even pay.

“They will also be looking at the fact that if the minimum wage is too high, then the possibility of retrenchment of workers will occur and I think they will do comparative analysis to know that the last minimum wage which was fixed at N30,000.00 by this parliament as an Act of the National Assembly, how many states were able to pay? How many local governments were able to pay? How many employers were able to pay?

“We’ll be looking at those things because it’s important that holistic approach be looked at and I have taken the suggestion that we should not rest until we arrive at an amicable resolution of the issue and that the National Assembly should also continue to make its own contributions towards the ongoing negotiations.

“On that note, I want to thank the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for listening to the voice of Nigerians and the international community by calling off the strike to enable negotiations to continue and we wish them well in the negotiations.

“On our part, we will continue to do our best by making contributions and at the same time awaiting the incoming Bill on Minimum Wage for us to enact for the benefit

of all Nigerians.”


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