New minimum wage will be ready this year – Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said the new minimum wage will be ready this year.
The Federal Government had set up a tripartite committee to work out a new minimum wage last year.
Ngige, who spoke with newsmen in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State on Sunday, said President Muhammadu Buhari is desirous of giving Nigerian workers an enhanced pay package this year.
He said the thinking of the Federal Government was to approve a minimum wage that would be acceptable to all stakeholders.
He said the National Tripartite Committee set up by Buhari had commenced work and would likely conclude the exercise in the third quarter of this year.
Ngige said the committee was very dear to Buhari, who had given close supervision.
He said: “We had our inaugural meeting on December 14 and we did a framework for our work.
“We will finish our job before the third quarter of this year, but we may finish earlier.
“Minimum wage is a national matter and only the Federal Government can legislate on it.
“Labour matters and the issue of national minimum wage are in the exclusive list.
“President Buhari is monitoring it strictly and I am monitoring it too.
“I wear a double cap as Minister of Labour, who is the regulator, and also as the Deputy Chairman of the committee.”
Ngige said the composition of the committee gives hope that the new wage will be acceptable to all parties.
He said: “We have state governors, one from each geopolitical zone, five ministers and the Head of Service in the committee.
“States will key into the new minimum wage when we are done because they are part of it.
“We will fix a minimum wage, but states can pay more than that.
“I give you an example: today, minimum wage is N18,500.
“But Adams Oshiomhole was paying N25,000 before he left office.
“Minimum wage is just to set the baseline, but states can pay more.”