The House of Representatives on Tuesday 23, February 2021 during its plenary session considered a bill seeking to decentralise minimum wage in order to allow each states determine its minimum wage according to its financial capacity
The House considered the transfer of minimum wage from the Exclusive list to Concurrent bill, Hon. Garba Datti who led the debates for the second reading of the bill stated that the bill will ensure true Federalism and divulging some of the powers from Federal to State.
He further stated that wage payment should be decentralised in order to allow each States pay according to their financial capacity, citing the example that it will be unfair for Rivers and Zamfara States with different resources to pay the same minimum wage.
Hon Nkem Abonta who also supported the bill noted that it will promotes true Federalism as it takes into cognizance the different living expenses in different States thus wages should be fixed considering these expenses while Hon. Babangida stated that the bill will open the real value of wages especially in the aspects of allowances due to different cadre of staff.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila however wondered about some unforeseen consequences like cross border migration of people seeking greener pastures if the bill is passed which will in turn increase pressure on resources of more buoyant states.
He noted that In view of this more work needs to be done to protect its application.
The Bill was voted and passed for second reading after much debates and referred to special Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution.
Olalere Taiwo :
For Head of press
Office of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters.