Sen. Ben Bruce assures Nigerians of speedy passage of the National Minimum Wage Bill

The Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, has assured Nigerians that the upper legislative chamber would ensure the speedy passage of the National Minimum Wage Bill if forwarded to it on time by President Muhammadu  Buhari.

Buhari had last week assured Nigerians that the necessary machinery was being put in place to transmit an executive bill to the National Assembly on the N30,000 new minimum wage package negotiated by a tripartite committee comprising government and labour.

Also, the Chairperson of the tripartite committee, Ms Ama Pepple, said last week that the enactment of the draft bill into law was critical to the operation and future reviews of the minimum wage.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a statement last week, also said that Buhari would not decide the new figure of national minimum wage until the National Assembly approved an amount.

Murray-Bruce, who spoke with our correspondent on Monday, said the red chamber was eager to work on the document and ensure that its implementation would start next year, if the executive sent it on time.

He said, “The Senate will ensure the speedy passage of the National Minimum wage if the executive sends it to the National Assembly before the 2019 appropriation bill is presented by President Muhammadu Buhari for necessary consideration.

“We are concerned about the common man. We are concerned about the plight of Nigerian workers and we are prepared to do everything possible to help the people of Nigeria.

“It is the responsibility of the executive to provide adequate resources to ensure payment of the minimum wage. Our duty is to ensure that we pass the bill so that the implementation of the new minimum wage would be accommodated in the 2019 budget.

“It could still be part of the 2019 budget if the executive sends in the bill on time.”

The organised labour had suspended a planned nationwide strike last week Tuesday after the Amma Pepple-led committee agreed to its demand of N30,000.

While receiving the report, President Buhari said another committee would review the recommendation before a final figure is sent as an executive bill to the National Assembly.

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