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Labour demands N250,000 as new minimum wage

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Resolving Nigeria’s Minimum Wage Crisis

Organised Labour is insisting on N250,000 as the new minimum wage, according to several sources, which is a shift from its earlier N494,000.

The Federal Government and the organised private sector had after a meeting on Friday, increased their offer for the new minimum wage to N62,000 from the earlier N60,000.

The recommendations was forwarded to President Tinubu, who is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

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Though both labour, the organised private sector and the Federal Government had agreed that the current minimum wage of N30,000 is no longer sustainable with the present economic reality of the country, agreeing a figure for the new minimum wage had for long proved difficult.

However, with the government and the organised private sector just adding N2,000 to the earlier N60,000 rejected by labour, it is unlikely that the new offer  will be accepted after the workers earlier vowed not to accept any lean addition by the government.

Festus Usifo, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stated this on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday, hours after the Organised Labour comprising the TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) suspended its industrial action which started at 12:01 am on Monday.

“At the meeting on Friday, they (the tripartite committee) said they would not add anything more to the ₦60,000 but in the meeting of yesterday (Monday), Mr President was able to commit to doing what is more than ₦60,000,” Osifo said.

When asked whether Labour would accept a few thousand naira additions to the last offer of the tripartite committee, the TUC boss said, “No, we also told them that it’s not that we’d get to the table and you start adding ₦1, ₦2, ₦3,000 as you were doing and we got some good guarantees here and there that they would do something good.”

We can’t pay – Governors

Meanwhile, the 36 state governors have said that the N60,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government is not sustainable and cannot fly.

A statement by the Acting Director, Media Affairs and Public Relations of the Forum, Mrs Halima Ahmed, noted that if allowed to fly, many states will use all their monthly allocations from the federation account to pay workers’ salaries.

The governors appealed to members of the tripartite committee to agree on a minimum wage that would be fair and sustainable.

 

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