Oshiomhole seeks review of national minimum wage law

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Tuesday in Abuja called for review of the new National Minimum Wage Law.

Oshiomhole made the call at the International Trade Union Congress Africa (ITUC-Africa) Regional Conference on Advancing Decent Work in Global Supply Chain in Africa.

“I think there is need to revisit some of the assumptions that informed the drafting of the Nigerian National Minimum Wage Law when it was enacted. I think it was at a time when big corporations dominated the economy.

“This is particularly true in the organised private sector where I come from; they had about 4000 workers and some were even bigger than that.

“So, the law simply looked at the informal sector characterised by people employing 20, 40, 50 less than 100 and the current minimum wage law allows for exemption enterprises that are employing less than 50.

“But now, our businesses are contracting. With the aid of technology, those employing more than 50 are increasingly fewer and those employing fewer than 50 are increasing.

“So, if the essence of the minimum wage is to provide protection for those who cannot organise, then that has been lost”, he said.

The governor urged workers unions to ensure the removal of the exemption clause while reviewing the national minimum wage.

“We should look at removing the exemption clause of people who employ less than 50, because with 30 workers now and with modern technology, you can generate so much.

“So, the old assumption ‘that employ 50 and be a small player’ is no longer valid.

“If we are going to protect domestic workers, we have them in millions; you have to remove those assumptions of those below 50 in the law.

“If the movement cannot as it is today enforce N18, 000 minimum wage, then asking for higher numbers would appear laughable …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper