Nigeria: Edo Deputy Governor Kicks Against Minimum Wage Bill

The bill seeks to switch minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has kicked against a bill seeking to switch minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

Mr Shaibu, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Benin, advised the sponsor of the bill to step it down.

He said rather than sponsor such a bill, the lawmaker should move motions and sponsor bills that would support programmes geared toward finding lasting solutions to the problems of insecurity in the country.

He said: "Let us all discuss the issue of insecurity and make our cities, communities, and our country secure."

The deputy governor highlighted the need for lawmakers to legislate on issues that would unite the country rather than those that would further divide it and bring about chaos.

This was not the time to bring up issues as contained in the bill, he said.

He urged the National Assembly to concern itself with the issue of insecurity, adding that the issue of the economy is all about security because "no investor will come to your land if he is not sure of the safety of his investment".

He said: "The economy of this country needs to work.

"That is why all of us, the legislative and the executive arms, need to actually come together to fashion a way forward, to deal with the issue of insecurity.

"For me, when you seek first, all the indices that make an economy work, then prosperity will be the order of the day and all other smaller issues will be dealt with.

"But when your economy is in shambles, then obviously, poverty will reign supreme".

The Nigeria Labour Congress is planning a national protest against the bill, which had already passed through the first reading at the National Assembly.

Nigerian governors had opposed the N30,000 minimum wage which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2019. The governors said they would not be able to implement the new law because of the paucity of funds.

The sponsor of the amendment to the minimum wage bill, Datti Garba, from Kaduna State, said the bill is part of the devolution of powers, which allows states to determine minimum wage.

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