8 things Buhari said while receiving the new minimum wage report
In his remark, Buhari expressed delight that the committee successfully completed its assignment in a peaceful and non-controversial manner.
It was submitted to him by the committee’s chairman, Amal Pepple at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Here are the 8 things he said:
FG will transmit minimum wage bill to National Assembly
President Buhari revealed that the Federal Government will transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.
“Our plan is to transmit the Executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time."
Says he is committed to new minimum wage
“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future."
Buhari also thanked the NLC and called for patience
The President thanked the labour leaders and said that his administration will continue to engage with them regarding areas presented in the report.
“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.
“As the Executive Arm commences its review of your submission, 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," he said.
Do not be used as political weapons
The president, however, enjoined the leadership of the labour unions as well as the Nigerian workers to avoid being used as political weapons.
He said “May I therefore, implore workers and their leaders not to allow themselves to be used as political weapons.”
Let our economic progress reflect in the pockets and homes of Nigerians
He explained that the exercise had become necessary for many reasons, saying that the last review took place in 2011.
“We all know since then, the prices of key consumables have increased and the most vulnerable of our workers are struggling to make ends meet.
“Since 2011, many changes have taken place. Nigeria rebased its GDP to become the largest economy in Africa. We reported very strong GDP growth rates and exceptional performance of our capital markets.
“However, these reported successes did not flow into the pockets and homes of majority of Nigerians.
“In the last three years, we focused on correcting this deficiency. We are working to create a diversified and inclusive economy," he added.
Says his government is trying to clear pensions, salaries
President Buhari further revealed that his administration had been pushing to clear pension arrears owed to retired workers with the limited resources available to it, and also supporting state governments to pay workers salary.
Buhari also praised the efforts of the committee
The President lauded the efforts of members of the committee for their commitment and sacrifice throughout the period of their assignment
Adding that “From the onset, we knew the committee had a difficult task ahead of it. But at the same time, we were also confident that the patriotic and professional background of its members would produce realistic, fair and implementable recommendations that will be considered by both the executive and legislative arms of government.
“I am not surprised that the committee has worked for close to one year. I am also not surprised that on a few occasions, the debates got heated and sometimes, these differences came out.
“What is truly inspiring is that, in almost all instances of disagreements, the committee members always came back to the negotiating table with a common goal of improving the welfare of Nigerian workers.
“On behalf of all Nigerians today, I want to thank you for your commitment and sacrifice in getting us to where we are today.”
ALSO READ:4 Reasons NLC suspended strike
Buhari also assured labour that all their concerns will be addressed
The president acknowledged that the concerns raised by representatives of government in the committee were around affordability, while 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.”
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)called off its planned strikethat was scheduled to hold on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, following the agreement reached during negotiations with the Tripartite Committee.
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