The Nigerian Senate on Thursday suspended its rules by evoking order 79 to give the new Minimum Wage (amendments) Bill an accelerated consideration.
No sooner had the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, read President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter announcing the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly, than the process for its consideration started.
Buhari in the letter noted that the new wage bill recommended N27, 000 for the least paid worker in Nigeria. Firms with less than 25 members of staff are exempted while punishment for defaulters should be made very stringent.
Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, raised a point of order shortly after the letter was read. drawing the attention of his colleagues to suspend their rules to enable them to give an accelerated hearing to the bill.
His motion was put to vote and members in attendance overwhelmingly supported it after the motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Abiodun Olujimi.
The bill was subsequently subjected to the first and second reading while the senators who spoke on it supported the need to expedite action on it to enable them to pass it into law within the shortest possible time.