New Minimum Wage Bill On The Way, to Capture More Firms

New Minimum Wage Bill On The Way, to Capture More Firms

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More firms will be captured in the mandatory compliance of the national minimum wage if the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill is eventually passed into law. The previously exempted firms under the Minimum Wage Act which the amendment seeks to capture include firms with up to 20 employees, where the current threshold is 50 employees; firms with foreign participation and those in the maritime and aviation sectors.

The amendment which also seeks to remove the ‘discriminatory’ provision of the Act which allows employers pay less to physically challenged employees passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill, named ‘a Bill for an Act to Amend the National Minimum Wage Act, Cap. N6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to exclude the establishments that have foreign participation from the list of establishments exempted from the payment of National Minimum Wage, and for other matters related thereto,’ is sponsored by Hon. Peter Akpatason (Edo APC).

The lawmaker hinged his argument on the fact that in contemporary times of information and communication technology, firms with less than 50 staff are making a lot of money. “In this ICT age, a lot of companies that are making millions in profit do not necessarily need to employ 50 people. There is also need to delete the provision that exempts firms in the maritime and aviation sector from paying the minimum wage,” he said.

“The fact that someone is physically challenged does not mean the person should not benefit from the minimum wage. This actually contradicts the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as it is discriminatory,” Akpatason added. He noted that firms with foreign participation, despite the millions they make in profit, may hide under the guise of being exempted from payment of the N18000 minimum wage, to short-change their local

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