Labour vows to reject little addition to N60,000, considers N100,000 minimum wage

The organised labour has promised to oppose any little increase to the N60,000 previously suggested by the Federal Government as the new minimum wage.

On Monday, the union’s leadership and the Federal Government’s staff agreed on a new minimum wage of “above N60,000.”

However, in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stated that organised labour was not obsessed on N494,000, but on a significant sum.

When pressed to specify the sum they would accept, Osifo stated that the tripartite committee must demonstrate seriousness by offering workers something economically viable in light of present inflationary pressures.

“We told them that it is not that we would get to the table and you start adding N1, N2, N3,000 as you were doing and we got some good guarantees here and there that they would do something good,” he said.

He stated that the new minimum wage must have the same purchasing power as N30,000 in 2019 and N18,000 in 2014.

However, there are indications that Organised Labour may accept N100,000 minimum salary when the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum salary begins daily meetings for five days to negotiate an agreement.

Sources in the labour movement informed The PUNCH on Tuesday that union leaders were willing to lower their demand from N494,000 to N100,000 in response to the criticism and controversy surrounding their plan, which was deemed unreasonable and impossible.

According to a statement issued by his media aide, Rabiu Ibrahim, on Saturday, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated that the proposed minimum wage would result in an annual spending of N9.5 trillion, a burden he described as unmanageable for the national finances.

On Monday, organised labour went on indefinite strike over the government’s refusal to pay more than N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

However, the strike was “relaxed” Tuesday for one week following a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and TUC.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday directed the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to present the cost implications of a new minimum wage within two days.

The president gave the directive at a meeting with the Federal Government’s negotiation team at the Presidential Villa.

Following the meeting with the president, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, told reporters that parties involved in the negotiation of the new minimum wage would collaborate with organised labour to propose a new wage for Nigerians in one week.

Idris stated that the president directed those who negotiated on behalf of the government, as well as representatives from the organised private sector and state governments, to work together to create a new salary that is sustainable, and practical for Nigerians.

Back to top button