The National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019, has been read for the third time and passed by the Senate on Tuesday.
A report by the Ad hoc committee on National minimum wage was presented by Senator Francis Alimikhena.
The upper legislative chamber then dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the report of the Ad-hoc Committee.
The house of representatives had last year passed the bill which pegged the minimum wage for both federal and state workers at N30,000.
During deliberation on the report of the committee, Senator Ahmad Lawan said, “The Ad-hoc Committee promised to give a new minimum wage to Nigerians and they have fulfilled the promise.
‘’This gesture should be appreciated. We do not have to wait until we are threatened with strike action before we take action.
‘’The Nigerian workers must show that the government is paying them and they are paying the government in service.”
After the bill was passed, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “Let me join our colleagues to commend the efforts of the committee.
‘’More importantly, let me commend the patience of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the labour union, who have over the years been calling for this minimum wage and have carried their efforts responsibly,” he said.
“I want to commend the leaders of the organisations of the union.
‘’Let me also state that as government, we should ensure that at times like these, we should not wait for there to be strikes to do what is truly deserving for our workers.”
Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, said the lawmakers have given the people a minimum wage but “it is not worth it if the states are unable to pay the minimum wage.”
The two versions of the bills passed by the two legislative chambers will now be harmonised before being transmitted to Buhari for assent.
President Muhammadu Buhari sent the wage bill for consideration after the national council of state approved it.
The council had approved N27,000 while the federal government said it would increase it to N30,000 for its workers.
But the tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government had approved N30,000 for both federal and state workers.