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FG: “Minimum wage will be paid in arrears; no governor can refuse”

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FG: “Minimum wage will be paid in arrears; no governor can refuse”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that a delay in the implementation of the payment scheme means the new minimum wage which was approved in April will be paid in arrears to workers.

Backstory: Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Ngige said the minimum wage “is a national law,” and so “no governor can say he will not pay.”

According to him:

  • “Every state government is now owing to its workers if they have not started paying N30,000. They are owing workers effective from 18th of April, a new minimum wage.”
  • “We are now in a committee working out a new template with which we will adjust upward, the consequential adjustment for those already earning above N30,000.”
  • According to Ngige, “employers in the private sector adjusted immediately because it is easier for them to do,” adding, however, that “In the government sector, the bureaucracy and bottleneck of government are responsible for the delay” in implementation.

Bottom Line: The minimum wage had been an issue of contention between organized labor and the federal and state governments since 2018. Even though the N30,000 minimum wage was finally signed into law in April 2019, it appears that there are still hurdles to cross before it can be fully implemented across the nation. Despite Ngige’s assurance, it’s expected that several state governments would find making payments a big challenge.

READ: Analysing Nigeria’s new minimum wage: What it means for workers, govt and businesses


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