Representatives prohibit late payment of wages and pensions by employers

The House of Representatives has adopted at second reading a bill aimed at prohibiting late payment of wages and salaries as well as underpayment by employers.

The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, was introduced on March 7, 2019 and has now passed its second reading on Tuesday in plenary.

The legislation proposes fines and penalties for late payment of wages or breach of contract by employers.

Section 2 of the Bill states that “every employer of labor in Nigeria, whether private or public, and whether he employs a laborer on a permanent or contractual basis, shall ensure that all payments of salaries, wages, pensions and all benefits to workers are paid. quickly without delay weekly, bimonthly, monthly, quarterly or annually, as may be agreed by the parties in the employment contract of the additional persons”.

Section 3(1a,b,c) further prohibits employers from making arbitrary deductions from workers’ wages or pensions, except as expressly provided in the contract of employment.

“The terms of contract contained in a notice kept constantly affixed to such and such place(s) open to the workman and in such a position as to be seen easily read and copied by any person whom it affects or the contract is in writing and signed by the workman unless the deduction or payment to be made under the contract does not exceed the actual or estimated damage or loss caused to the employer by the act or omission evidence of the worker or another person over whom he has control or for whom he has by contract agreed to be responsible.

Article 4 states that “an employer shall not retain the salary, wages, pension or any other benefit and emolument of a worker for a period of seven days or more from the day of payment of such salary, salary, pension and all other benefits and emoluments are due except in cases of force majeure.

As a penalty, the bill provides for one month’s imprisonment for any employer who owes wages for more than 60 days.

The bill was adopted without debate and sent back to the plenary committee by Mr. Gbajabiamila.

Commission on Religious Harmony

Meanwhile, the House also considered a bill to create a religious harmony commission and passed it at second reading.

The bill, sponsored by Mr. Gbajabiamila and Hassan Fulata (APC, Jigawa), was considered and passed by the House.


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The proposed commission will have the power to investigate cases of religious discrimination, victimization and harassment in Nigeria and prosecute offenders.

The synopsis of the bill states that “It (the commission) will monitor incidents of religious extremism, including hate speech and other actions and utterances intended to incite violent passions and prosecute offenders.

“Provide an early warning system for government and law enforcement to detect and prevent actions that may incite religious violence and the breakdown of public order.

“To conduct research and advise the government and the National Assembly on corrective measures to prevent religious extremism and the dangers that flow from it.

This bill was also referred to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.


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Elaine R. Knight