By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday passed a N30,000 minimum wage for workers in both the federal and state level as well as the organized private sector.
The House gave the approval at its Tuesday plenary after the adoption of the report of the ad hoc committee on a Bill for an Act to repeal the National Minimum Wage Act for workers led by Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff.
The N30,000 approved across board differs from the recommendations of the National Council of State, which had fixed N30,000 for federal workers and N27,000 for state and private sector workers.
In the approved bill, the House jerked up the initial penalty of N5,000 recommended against defaulting employers/firms to N75,000, with an additional penalty not exceeding N10,000 for each day the offence continues.
While giving a synopsis of the bill, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon. Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff explained that the bill did not cover employers whose staff strength were below 25.
But raising a point of order, the House Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila suggested that the bill should take effect from six months after assent.
Although, other lawmakers opposed the prayers of the House leader arguing that the bill should take immediate effect as soon as the president signs it into law.
Speaker Dogara, however, held a different opinion, noting that with the absence of appropriation, the bill cannot be implemented.
Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Edward Pwajok (PDP, Plateau), saved the day when he moved for an amendment that the bill becomes effective from the date it is assented to. it was unanimously adopted.
The House is to harmonize with its counterpart in the Senate for onward transmission to the president for assent.