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Nigeria: National Assembly to Increase Minimum Wage

(Jan. 19, 2011) It was reported on January 13, 2011, that Jonathan Goodluck, President of Nigeria, has forwarded a bill to amend the law on the national minimum wage to the National Assembly for floor action (Minimum Wage Bill with NASS-FG, VANGUARD (Jan. 13, 2011), If passed in its current form, the bill would increase the minimum wage by over three times its current level. Under the current law, the minimum national monthly wage is set at NGN5,500 (about US$36) (National Minimum Wage Act of 1981, §1, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, Cap. N61 (rev. ed., 2006). The bill seeks to set the minimum wage at NGN18,000 (about US$117) (VANGUARD, supra).

It is not clear whether other changes to the current law are proposed in the bill. For example, the current law on minimum wage does not apply to the following workers:

· individuals employed in a small business (establishments with less than 50 employees);

· seasonal farm workers;

· part-time employees;

· individuals who work on commission; or

· individuals employed on a vessel or aircraft. (National Minimum Wage Act, §2.)

It is not yet known if the bill would widen or narrow this list of workers not eligible for the minimum wage.