Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
— April 18, 2019
Takes effect immediately
Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the much awaited National Minimum Wage Bill into law.
The bill, which approved N30, 000 as the new national wage was passed by both chambers of National Assembly before they went on break for the 2019 general elections.
The delay in signing the bill into law infuriated workers who pleaded with President Buhari to append his signature on the bill before the coming workers day on May 1.
The President on Thursday heeded the plead as he signed the bill into law to the pleasing ear of the working population.
Confirming the signing of the bill, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said the implementation is with immediate effect.
He said it is for all workers across the federation with the exception of organisations with less than 25 staff.
He said: “You can see me smiling on behalf of Nigerian workers. President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Minimum Wage Repel and Enactment Act 2019.
“This makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay to their workers the sum of N30, 000.
“And this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship which sails out of jurisdiction and other persons who are in other kinds of regulated employment which are accepted by the Act.
“It also gives the workers the rights, if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than N30, 000 to sue your employer to recover the balance and it authorises the Minister of Labour and any person nominated by the Minister of Labour, or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of your wages.
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“It also ensures and mandates National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Minister or Labour, to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law. And this law applies to all agencies, persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
On when the Act comes into effect, Enang said: “The effective date is 18th of April, 2019 as Mr. President has assented to it.
“It has been assented to today and it takes effect today, except such other provisions as are contained in the Act.
“But the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commences today (Thursday), including such steps that are to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act.”
On what is expected of the workers with the signing of the new law, the presidential aide said: “I want Nigerian workers to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari, to support this administration, support his policies and of course we will as a government go out and match together along with Nigerian workers on workers day.”
Asked if President Buhari will join the workers on May 1st to celebrate workers day, Enang said: “Mr. President will celebrate with workers and the federal government will celebrate.
“This is Mr. President showing workers the love he has for them and we are matching as we will match with the Nigerian workers.”
Responding to concern for the inclusion of the National Youth Service Corps, he said, “It covers all persons covered by the Act.”
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