Nigerian Government Proposes New Minimum Wage of N54,000 Amidst Labour Dispute

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The Nigerian Federal Government has proposed a new minimum wage of N54,000 following the recent walkout by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage meeting. The labor unions had previously rejected the government’s initial proposal of N48,000.

A reliable source within the ongoing negotiations disclosed this latest proposal to our correspondent in Abuja, stating, “The Federal Government has now proposed the sum of N54,000.”

Despite this revised offer, it remains uncertain whether the labour unions will accept it. The NLC and TUC have been firm in their demand for a minimum wage of N615,000, which they argue reflects the current economic realities and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

Joe Ajaero, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, emphasized the rationale behind the N615,000 demand, citing a detailed analysis of the prevailing economic conditions. He criticized the government’s and the Organised Private Sector’s (OPS) approach, attributing the breakdown in negotiations to their intransigence.

“Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector has led to a breakdown in negotiations,” Ajaero stated.

In contrast, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, described the unions’ walkout as unfortunate, urging them to return to the negotiation table for the sake of their members and national development.

“The unions’ walkout before negotiations had properly started is regrettable. We urge the union leaders to reconsider their position and engage constructively in the negotiations,” Oyerinde remarked.

Ajaero defended the unions’ decision to abandon the talks, arguing that the government’s initial proposal of N48,000 was insufficient and insulting to Nigerian workers. He highlighted the disparity between this offer and the N78,000 minimum wage paid to the lowest earners in the private sector, as stated by the OPS.

“The government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 as the minimum wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations,” Ajaero said.

He further accused the government of failing to provide data to substantiate its offer, which he claimed undermined the credibility of the negotiation process.

“The government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved,” Ajaero added.

As the negotiations continue, there is hope that a mutually acceptable agreement will be reached to address the needs of Nigerian workers while ensuring economic stability and growth.


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