Minimum wage: Senate shops for new chairman as Adeyeye quits

The leadership of the Senate has yet to appoint a new chairman for its ad hoc committee on Minimum Wage Bill following the voluntary withdrawal of the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, from the panel.

Adeyeye, who was saddled with the responsibility of working on the legislation with six others, had told the Senate in plenary last Tuesday that the panel could not make progress because the members were busy with their elections.

He therefore urged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary on Tuesday, to consider another senator as the chairman of the panel because he had health issues that deserved an urgent attention.

Investigations by our correspondent on Monday revealed that the leadership of the red chamber had yet to appoint a replacement for Adeyeye, who is travelling abroad for medical reasons.

Attempts to speak with the Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the spokesperson for the red chamber, Sabi Abdullahi, did not succeed on Monday as neither of them answered calls put across to their mobile phones.

They had also yet to reply the text messages sent to them separately as of the time of filing this report.

However, a principal officer of the Senate told our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Monday that no action had been taken on the new chairman for the panel.

He said, “Since it is an ad hoc committee, there is no provision for vice-chairman, so we have to appoint a new chairman and that has not been done. You have to wait till March 12 when a fresh decision would be taken on the issue.”

Meanwhile, Adeyeye told our correspondent on Monday evening on phone that his exit from the panel would not delay the submission of the report.

He said, “The issue was discussed in plenary last Tuesday. I said our members were busy with elections and I will have to travel out for medical attention and they said somebody else should be appointed since I won’t be around and that the committee should try to meet before we resume.

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“I am sure that they would meet and submit a report. It is a very easy thing because there are only two amendments there.

“There could be serious discussions on the amount that the minimum wage should be but the issues are not that difficult to resolve. Once I travel things are no longer in my hand.”

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