Hope in the horizon as FG okays 29-member panel on N56,000 minimum wage demand

Labour Minister, Chris Ngige

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a 29-member tripartite committee on a new minimum wage being clamoured for by the workers.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Ngige said the approval came after an extensive deliberation on the report of a technical committee on the issue, which he chaired.

“The matter needs to be thrashed out by all stakeholders, because already, employers under the umbrella of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association have rejected the N56,000 minimum wage proposal,” the minister said.

The tripartite committee will be chaired by a seasoned technocrat appointed by the Federal Government, which will also nominate five of the members, while six state governors will also be members.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the 2017 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly transmitted to the Executive last Friday, was still undergoing analysis.

Udoma explained that at the end of the analysis being carried out by all ministers, recommendations would be made to the President.

“When the budget is approved, we first analyse it, review it and then make our recommendations to the President. We are working hard, we are still in the analysing process and getting inputs from the ministers,” he said.

The minister described the Gross Domestic Product figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday as encouraging and an indication that the government’s interventions were working.

“This is the best figure released in four quarters and there is still enough time to make more efforts to stimulate the economy,” Udoma stated.

He said the government would continue with the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Udoma added, “We believe that the interventions we are making and the steps we are taking are in the right direction.

“The results that were released were for one quarter. There are still three quarters and we have enough time to do better; we will work hard to continue to stimulate the economy to meet our target.”

The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Danbazzau, said Osinbajo directed that a proposal for the decongestion and expansion of prisons as well as the establishment of six ‘half-way houses’ across the country be presented to the National Economic Council for more inputs.

He noted that some of the prisons in the country were 100 years old, adding that deplorable prison conditions were worsened by the fact that 70 per cent of inmates were awaiting trial, while five per cent of the remainder were on death row.Punch

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