President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assented to the National Minimum Wage Bill.
Following the presidential assent, the bill has now become an Act of the National Assembly with effect from yesterday, and thus put to rest several months of controversy trailing the proposal.
Briefing State House Correspondents after he met President Buhari at the Presidential villa, Abuja, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang said the development makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30,000.
“You can see me smiling on behalf of Nigerian workers. President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Minimum Wage repealing the old one and Enactment Act 2019.
“This makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30,000. And this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship which sails out of jurisdiction and other persons who are in other kinds of regulated employment which are accepted by the Act.
“It also gives the workers the right if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than N30,000, to sue your employer to recover the balance and authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour, or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of your wages.
“It also ensures and mandates National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Minister or Labour, to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law. And this law applies to all agencies, persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
On when the Act comes into effect, Enang said, “the effective date is 18th of April, 2019, as Mr. President has assented to. It has been assented to today and it takes effect today, except such other provisions as are contained in the Act. But the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commences today (Thursday), including such steps that are to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act.”
On what is expected of the workers, the presidential aide said, “I want Nigerian workers to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari, to support this administration, support his policies and of course we will as a government go out and match together along with Nigerian workers on workers day.
“Mr. President will celebrate with workers and the federal government will celebrate. This is Mr. President showing workers the lover he has for them and we are matching as we will match with the Nigerian workers.”
Asked if it the new minimum wage covers the National Youth Service Corps, Enang said, “It covers all persons covered by the Act.”