Labour meets Tinubu today, insists on N250,000 minimum wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has said it would press for N250,000 minimum wage during a planned meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday (today).

The Head of Public Affairs of the NLC, Benson Upah said Labour would insist on its N250,000 proposal during the session with the President.

 

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Afam Osigwe

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

“We are going to the table with our demand of N250,000 even as the cost of living has since moved up. We have been very reasonable and patriotic,” Upah told our correspondent.

 

Labour leaders were invited to a meeting with the President in furtherance of Tinubu’s promise to hold more consultations with stakeholders on the minimum wage.

The proposed meeting is coming about a month after the President said in his Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage would soon be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

 

On June 25, the Federal Executive Council chaired by the President stepped down deliberation on the new minimum wage memo to allow for more engagement with stakeholders ahead of the planned executive bill.

 

The President took the decision after receiving the report of the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

The report, which Akume received from the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Bukar Goni Aji, recommended N62,000 minimum wage based on the submissions by federal, state governments and the Organised Private Sector.

 

Labour at the close of consultations recommended N250,000, but the state governors said they might be unable to pay N62,000.

The labour unions said the current N30,000 minimum wage was no longer realistic, citing the current food inflation caused by the twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of the forex windows.

 

Two days after the FEC meeting, Tinubu and Vice President Kassim Shettima met with the governors and ministers at the 141st meeting of the National Economic Council to deliberate on the new minimum wage for workers.

 

However, the outcome of their meeting was not disclosed.

 

The minimum wage talks had dragged on for some time with Organised Labour, government representatives and the private sector failing to reach a consensus.

In anger, the labour unions declared an indefinite industrial action on June 3, crippling economic activities and government operations nationwide.

The unionists shut down airports, hospitals, banks, the national grid, banks, the National Assembly, and state assemblies’ complexes.

 

However, the industrial action was suspended after the labour leaders held a meeting with top government officials who gave assurances that the government was willing to increase its offer.

 

President Bola Tinubu set up the tripartite committee in January to negotiate a new minimum wage for workers ahead of the expiration of the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, in April 2024.

 

The committee comprises the Organised Labour, representatives of federal and state governments as well as the OPS.

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