Minimum wage: FG okays 29-member panel

 FG okays 29-member panel on N56,000 minimum wage demand

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige

• Six state govs , Federal Govt team to negotiate with Labour

• says 2017 budget undergoing analysis

Olalekan Adetayo , Abuja

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 .
Source:  The Punch

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