Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The Senate on Tuesday approved N30, 000 as the new national minimum wage with an appeal to the Federal Government to start the implementation immediately to prevent the organised labour from embarking on strike to demand the payment.
The acting Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on National Minimum Wage Bill, Senator Francis Alimikhena, while delivering the report also said a fine of N75, 000 has been imposed on firms that refuse to comply with the wage payment.
The panel also recommended the urgent review of the revenue-sharing formula, which will enhance the states to pay the new minimum wage.
The committee urged the Minister of Finance and her counterparts in the Budget and National Planning to as a matter of urgency, compute and forward to the National Assembly, for inclusion in the 2019 budget, the actual amount required for the new minimum wage.
Senator James Manager described as unfortunate, the fact that some state governments had yet to apply the N18, 000 minimum wage.
Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, noted that the review of the revenue-sharing formula would enable more state governments to pay the new wage.
Senator Barnabas Gemade noted that the bill was passed promptly to show that the National Assembly was committed to the welfare of the workers.
Senator Andrew Uchendu, said the tripartite committee should hold regular meetings with a view to constantly review the minimum wage.
Under the current sharing arrangement, the Federal Government takes 56 per cent, states receive 24 per cent while the local governments share the remaining 20 per cent.
The Senate in the committee of the whole approved all the recommendations contained in the report.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged the Federal Government to pay the new minimum wage without delay instead of waiting for the workers to go on strike to demand the implementation