President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the national minimum wage bill into law.
The senate passed the bill on March 19, approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. The house of representatives had earlier passed the bill.
On Tuesday, workers in the federal capital territory (FCT) begged Buhari to sign the minimum wage bill into law before May 1.
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.
The tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government had approved N30,000 for both federal and state workers.
Commenting on the new law, Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), said it has become compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their workers N30,000.
Enang made it clear that this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers; persons who work in a ship which sail out of jurisdiction; persons who are in other kinds of regulated employments are excepted by the Act.
“It also gives the workers the right if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than 30,000 for you to sue your employers to recover the balance,” he said.
“It authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of wages.
“It also ensures and mandates the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the minister of labour to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law; and this law applies to all agencies and persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The effective date is April 18, 2019 as Mr President has assented to; it has been assented to and it takes effect today except such other provision as are contained in the Act.”
Enang said the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commenced immediately including such steps that would to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act.
He urged Nigerian workers to celebrate Buhari and support his administration and policies.
The senior special assistant said the administration would come out and march together with Nigerian workers and Workers Day.
“Mr President will celebrate Workers Day and this government will celebrate. This is Mr President action showing the love he has for Nigerian workers,’’ he said.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had led the campaign for an upward review of minimum wage from N18,000.