Falana Challenges National Assembly to Repeat 48-Hour Feat for New Minimum Wage, Recalling Speed of National Anthem Act

Femi Falana, the renowned human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has called upon the National Assembly to swiftly pass a law establishing a new minimum wage that accurately reflects the current economic situation in Nigeria, with the same alacrity they demonstrated when adopting the National Anthem Act.

In a statement issued to reporters on Monday morning, the human rights lawyer highlighted the need for swift action by legislators to guarantee that the minimum wage reflects the current state of the economy, stressing that such a move would be a much-needed step towards improving the living standards and overall well-being of the Nigerian workforce.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) commenced an indefinite strike which started today, Monday, in a display of discontent over the government’s inaction in addressing their demands for a new minimum wage.

Falana wrote: “Pursuant to the National Minimum Wage Act 2019, the national minimum wage was fixed at N30,000. By virtue of section 3(4) of the Act 2019 the national minimum wage expires after five years, and it shall be reviewed in line with the provisions of this Act.

“Since the commencement date of the Act was the 18th day of April 2019, the national minimum wage of N30,000 has since expired. Hence, the Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, announced during the last May Day rally in Abuja that the new national minimum wage would take effect on May 1, 2024.

“Following the removal of fuel subsidy last year, the Federal Government had announced an additional N35,000 wage award (wage subsidy) for six months, starting from 1 September 2023. During the 6-month period, the total monthly wage payable to a worker was N65,000. In the same vein, the various state governments awarded various sums as wage subsidy to their workers. Both Lagos and Edo State Governments have since announced a minimum wage of N70,000.

“Curiously, the Federal Government turned round to offer a minimum wage of N48,000. Hence, the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have embarked on an indefinite strike due to the failure of the Federal Government and other employers of employment to pay a realistic new minimum wage to Nigerian workers.

“However, it has been reported that the leaders of the National Assembly have intervened in the planned strike.

“The National Assembly should, therefore, pass speedily a new National Minimum Wage Act like the new National Anthem Act that was enacted within 48 hours, last week.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *