Confab rejects upward review of minimum wage

The National Conference on Thursday in Abuja rejected an amended recommendation for an upward review of the National Minimum Wage from N18,000 to at least N40,000.

The conference also banned government-funded ministries, departments and agencies from collecting application fees from graduates seeking employment into such establishments.

However, it accepted the proposal for the setting up of recruitment centres in the states. After taking into cognisance the unfortunate stampede during the Immigration recruitment exercise.

The conference adopted a motion which called for the amendment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to be called “Federal Character and Equal Opportunities Commission” and its extension to states.

The acceptance of the proposal, which generated serious opposition from some delegates, came after a sponsored motion by 33 delegates, which was read on their behalf by Dr Nurudeen Lemu.

“This motion seeks an amendment to the recommendation of the Conference Committee on Public Service proposal to retain Federal Character Commission and its extension to states.

“We are recommending that the commission be upgraded to address issues of equity and equal opportunities in order to take care of other key sectors and groups in the society.

“That the law establishing the commission be reviewed to reflect the above proposal and thereby renamed as Federal Character and Equal Opportunities Commission.

“This will enable the commission to affirm the issue of affirmatives action for the people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

“It will also address issues relating to ethnic, religion, minority, women, youths and other sections of the society that are often excluded,’’ the motion stated.

The conference also called on the National Assembly to domesticate the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.

It was agreed that government at all levels should add allowances equivalent to Salary Grade Level 06 to the pay of each of the Persons Living with Disabilities.

This, the committee said, would enable them employ aides.

The conference also adopted the committee’s recommendation that government at all levels should make public offices disabilities-friendly by providing special access facilities in line with international charters and treaties.

The committee’s suggestion that no political appointee at all levels be employed as special advisers, special assistants, and personal assistants henceforth was adopted.

Instead it was agreed that, as a cost-saving measure, such political office-holder should utilise staff of ministries where it becomes necessary.

The committee said this should be applied as it is contained in Circular Reference Number B63883/73 of Jan. 3, 2000.

Following the adoption of the committee’s report, the conference commenced debate on the report of Committee on Science, Technology and Development

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