16 January 2019

Nigeria: Govt Defers Final Decision On Minimum Wage

Photo: Vanguard
Minimum wage crisis.

Abuja — A special Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House yesterday failed to conclude decision on national minimum wage.

This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari has launched a new Nigerian international passport with enhanced security and 10-year validity.

Apparently due to the crucial importance of governors to the national minimum wage issue, the council resolved that it would take final decision on it after the National Executive Council (NEC), a body of governors presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would have deliberated over the matter.

Making this disclosure after the meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, admitted that the matter of minimum wage was deliberated upon at yesterday's FEC meeting but declined answering questions on deliberations on the issue.

He said: "I cannot because it is work in progress. It would also be discussed by the National Economic Council (NEC) before we can brief the media."

On Monday, the organised labour staged nationwide protests to compel the federal government to send a bill which provides for N30,000 as the new minimum wage to the National Assembly.

Also yesterday, Buhari launched a new Nigerian international passport with enhanced security. The passport has 10 years validity.

Speaking on the passport, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammad Babandede, said the new passport contained enhanced features which he said would facilitate security management.

According to him, the new passport with a new parttern will bring discipline in the system, adding however, that both the new and the old passports will be used concurrently.

He said the new passport with 32 pages, would cost N25, 000 and $130 abroad; a 64-page passport for five years will cost N35, 000 and $150 abroad while the 64-page copy with 10 years validity will cost N70, 000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.

"The new passport reform programme is weather friendly, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant. It has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damage, enhanced security features and will save Nigerians in the Diaspora time of frequent visit to Nigerian Embassy among others."

Also speaking, Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.), said Nigerians in Diaspora had insisted on the production of the10-year passport, which he said the government eventually acceded to.

According to him, the e -passport data base is the most reliable source of data for criminal investigation.

However, he said one of the attendant challenges is production of the passport outside the country, pointing out that for security reasons, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc will soon take over the production of the passport.

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