Minimum Wage Battle: Labour Stick To N250,000, Awaiting Tinubu’s Decision

Imo Govt Increases Minimum Wage To ₦40k

Organised Labour has refused to bargain for what it called a “starvation wage,” sticking to its N250,000 new minimum wage proposal. According to Chris Onyeka, the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, labor would reject the most recent offer of ₦62,000 as well as the ₦100,000 suggestion put up by certain people and experts.

This came as Joe Ajaero, the president of the NLC, stated that the unions were waiting on President Bola Tinubu to take Labor’s offer into consideration.During the ongoing International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, Ajaero made this statement in a press interview.

The Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage has presented its report, according to information released by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday. Additionally, investors reduced their interest MAR-2025 FGN bonds, pushing its yield upward by +6bps but remained unchanged in the long end.

Last Friday, the tripartite committee concluded its meetings with the federal government and the organized private sector. While the government and the OPS agreed on N62,000, labor, on the other hand, demanded N250,000. However, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, in a statement, said any minimum wage higher than N60,000 was not sustainable.

In a statement on Monday, the Director, Information and Public Relations, OSGF, Segun Imohiosen, said the committee report would be presented to the President when the organised labour leaders return from Switzerland.

“The Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage has concluded its assignment and submitted its report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday, June 10, 2024.

“A formal presentation of the report will be made to Mr. President for appropriate action when the leadership of organized labor as well as representatives of the government and the organized private sector, who are presently in Geneva, Switzerland, for the ongoing International Labour Organization Conference, return to the country.’’

The SGF thanked the chairman of the committee, Bukar Aji, and members for their commitment and sacrifices.

Speaking on the minimum wage negotiation on ‘Morning Brief’, a Channels Television programme, on Monday, the NLC Assistant General Secretary, Onyeka, said, “Our position is very clear; we have never considered accepting $62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what Nigerian workers can take home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.”

Speaking further, the NLC scribe added, “We have never contemplated $100,000, let alone $62,000. We are still at ₦250,000; that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation.

“We are not just driven by frivolities but also by the realities of the marketplace—the realities of things we buy every day: bags of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.”

Onyeka said the one-week ultimatum given to the Federal Government since the suspension of the strike would expire by midnight on Tuesday.

He said that should the Federal Government and the National Assembly fail to act on the demands of workers by today, the NLC and TUC would meet to decide on the resumption of the nationwide industrial action.

“The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for the government to look at and send an executive bill to the National Assembly and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a national minimum act that meets our demands.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the federal government one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (today). If, after tomorrow (today), we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the organised labour will meet to decide what to do next,’’ he warned.

Addressing journalists in Geneva on Monday, Ajaero clarified that the submission of N62,000 as proposed by the government and the organised employers’ body did not translate to labour accepting N62,000 as the new minimum wage.

He explained that labour could not embark on strike because the President had yet to communicate his decision on the figures presented by the tripartite committee.

He said, “The tripartite committee submitted two figures to the President. The government and employers proposed N62,000, while labour proposed N250,000. We are waiting for the decision of the president. Our National Executive Council will deliberate on the new figure when it is out.

“We cannot declare a strike now because the figures are with the President. We will wait for the President’s decision. During the tenure of the immediate past President (Muhammadu Buhari), the figure that was proposed to him was N27,000 by the tripartite committee, but he increased it to N30,000.

“We are hopeful that this president will do the right thing. The President had noted that the difference between N62,000 and N250,000 is a wide gulf.”

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