The president, Muhammadu Buhari approves the 30,000 minimum wage recommended by the Nigeria Labour Congress while receiving receiving the report on the tripartite committee on the review of the minimum wage, at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Earlier, Amma Pepple, chairman of the committee, submitted a report on the agreement with labour to Buhari.
Buhari said he was committed to having a new national minimum wage within the shortest time.
He said the necessary machinery will be put in place to transmit an executive bill to the national assembly on the minimum wage.
“We will continue to engage you all in closing any open areas presented in this report. I therefore would like to ask for your patience and understanding in the coming weeks,” Buhari said.
Buhari urged workers not to allow themselves to be used as “political weapons”, as the N30,000 minimum wage will take effect as soon as possible
The president said in the last three years, his administration has focused on correcting this deficiency.
“We are working to create a diversified and inclusive economy. We are pushing to clear pension arrears owed to our retired workers with the limited resources available to us,” he said.
“We supported state governments to pay workers salary. And of course, we set up a committee in order to review the minimum wage of workers.
“In constituting this committee, we took into account the need for all stakeholders to be adequately represented – the government, the private sector and most importantly the workers. Our goal was to get an outcome that was consensual.
“In the past few days, I have been receiving regular updates on your deliberations. And today, I am pleased that you have completed your work in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner. The entire nation is grateful to you all.
“The Committee Chairman highlighted some of the challenges encountered during your deliberations, especially as it relates to having a consensus position acceptable by all parties.
“I understand, on the government side, the concerns raised were around affordability – that today many states struggle to meet their existing salary requirements.
“On the side of labour, the points raised focused on the need for any increase to be meaningful.
“In a way, both arguments are valid. I want to assure you all that we will immediately put in place the necessary machinery that will close out these open areas. Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time.
“Let me use this opportunity to recognise the leadership of the organized labour and private sector as well as representatives of State and Federal Governments for all your hard work. The fact that we are here today, is a notable achievement.”
N30,000 was adopted at a meeting between top government officials and labour leaders on Monday.
The organised labour had threatened to commence nationwide strike on Tuesday if the government did not agree on N30,000.
The federal government had initially proposed N24,000, while state government offered to pay N22,500 to workers but labour rejected the proposals, insisting on N30,000.
Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had told reporters on Monday that the decision to suspend the industrial action was taken after agreements were reached.
“Having reached this position and agreements signed, the proposed strike action is hereby suspended,” he had said.