President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday told labour leaders that his government was "committed to paying the new minimum wage."
The federal government is yet to fully implement the minimum wage across all categories of workers months after Mr Buhari signed the minimum wage bill into law.
Mr Buhari hosted the new leaders of the Trade Union Congress where he spoke about the minimum wage and other matters.
Details of Mr Buhari's speech was sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his office.
Read the president's full speech below.
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA DURING AN AUDIENCE WITH THE TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (TUC),
THURSDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019
1. I welcome you members of the Trade Union Congress to State House on this courtesy visit, let me first congratulate you for conducting a peaceful and transparent election that led to your emergence as leaders of this esteemed organisation. My prayers and sincere best wishes go to you all as you commence your tenure. As leaders, I want to encourage you all to be diligent, fair and honest in your actions.
2. In your remarks, you highlighted key challenges majority of Nigerians confront on daily basis.
3. For example, you touched on our massive infrastructure deficit, lack of electricity and high unemployment and poverty rates. You raised concerns about the competitiveness of Nigerian manufactured goods especially as we have signed up to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. You also touched on the various security challenges affecting us as a nation today.
4. The points you raised are all interconnected. The lack of power and infrastructure due to decades of under-investment led to the closure or inefficient operations of a number of factories across the country. This meant the private sector was unable to create jobs fast enough to cope with our increasing population.
5. You will agree with me that, all these challenges and many more were long ago left unattended to, thereby leaving the country in the mired state we inherited. You all will also testify to having seen and experienced what we have put in place as an administration to address these challenges.
6. During our first term, we secured the nation's territorial integrity and continue to protect the lives and properties of our citizens. We introduced various economic stimulus packages that support businesses and traders at all levels, promoted backward integration programmes especially in the agricultural sector to enhance our food security while creating jobs.
7. We embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects this country has seen in decades. We also introduced the largest Social Investment Program in Sub-Saharan Africa.
8. Although these programs and many more successfully lifted Nigeria out of recession, their full impact are yet to be felt. In the next four years, we shall sustain this momentum and by the grace of God, lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
9. Just yesterday, we had the inaugural Federal Executive Council meeting with the new cabinet. A key agenda item was the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework which included discussions around the new minimum wage. I want to assure you all that the Federal Government remains committed to paying the new minimum wage.
10. On fuel prices, I agree with you on the need to eliminate corruption and inefficiencies in the sector. I want to assure you that, as an Administration, we have no intention of inflicting any additional hardship on Nigerians.
11. I have taken note of other suggestions you made. I will propose that you make a formal written submission to the office of the Chief of Staff, to enable us act on them appropriately.
12. I will conclude by thanking you all for your kind words and prayers.
Thank you once again and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.