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Federal Govt Offers N62,000 As New Minimum Wage, Labour Unions React | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Jun 8, 2024

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Following several hours of meeting on Friday, the Federal Government and the organised private sector have increased their offer for the new minimum wage to N62,000 from the earlier N60,000.

However, the organised labour is proposing a N250,000 which is a shift from its earlier N494,000.

This brings to and end the deliberations on the new minimum wage by the tripartite committee set up by the the Federal Government after several months.

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

With the work of the tripartite committee which was constituted in January this year coming to an end, the ball now shifts to the table of President Tinubu and subsequently that of the National Assembly.

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 abortive.

While the government and the organised private sector viewed labour’s proposed N494,000 as over the roof, labour felt the offer of N60,000 was not considerate.

At the expiration of an ultimatum issued by labour on May 31, the unions embarked on strike on June 3, shutting down businesses across the nation.

The action was however suspended on Tuesday after the Federal Government promised to increase the minimum wage to an amount bigger than N60,000 as they resume negotiations.

The suspension of the strike gave room for the resumption of negotiations which continued until this night.

We won’t accept meagre addition to N60,000
With the government and the organised private sector just adding N2,000 to the earlier N60,000 rejected by labour, it is left to be seen if the new proposal will be accepted after the workers earlier vowed not to accept any lean addition by the government.

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, 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
Meanwhile, the 36 state governors who make up the Nigeria Governors’ Forum 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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