Labour Insists on N250,000 Minimum Wage


Organised Labour has declared that its only acceptable agreement with the Federal Government is a minimum wage of N250,000, as submitted to the tripartite committee. This stance was reinforced during a press briefing at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Labour leaders, including Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero and Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Festus Osifo, emphasized that they will not accept any figure below six digits. They urged President Bola Tinubu to adhere to the committee’s recommendations and reach a consensus with all stakeholders.

President Tinubu, in his speech at the 25th Democracy Day anniversary, indicated that the new minimum wage would be determined by the government’s financial capacity. He emphasized that the government would pay only what it can afford, using the proverb “cut your coat according to your size” to illustrate his point.

However, Labour leaders are concerned that the president’s comments suggest a lack of understanding of the committee’s report, which they believe has not been accurately communicated to him. They are pushing for a three-to-two-year review cycle of the minimum wage, based on inflation, cost of living, and currency value, and are demanding immediate action to prevent further financial strain on workers.

Osifo highlighted that both the NLC’s N250,000 and the organized private sector’s N62,000 proposals should be considered by the National Assembly. He stressed the urgency of addressing the minimum wage issue promptly to alleviate workers’ current economic hardships.

Labour leaders also criticized the government for not adequately recognizing the significant role played by organized labour in Nigeria’s democratic development. They insist that the president, as a true democrat, should approve the proposed N250,000 minimum wage in line with his promises of a living wage and economic reform.

Mike Ojo

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