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Tinubu’s government offers to pay N57000 as new minimum wage after Labour slashes demand to N500,000



The federal government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has offered to pay N57,000 as a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The Federal Government team made the offer to the organised labour which comprises of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the ongoing Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday.

A prominent member of the Tripartite Committee for the negotiation of a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers revealed this after the meeting.

This is the third proposal in about a week of the negotiation meetings. At the first meeting, the government offered to pay N48,000 which was rejected, N54,000 was offered on Tuesday which was also rejected for being too far below the N615,00 the unions were demanding as the new national minimum wage.

The government has now slightly increased the offer by adding N3000 to the N54,000 offered on Tuesday to make it N57,000.

Speaking after the meeting on Wednesday, the source revealed that the government team complained of non-availability of fund and the inability of the private sector to pay the amount proposed by the labour.

However, after the break it took to consult, the government team added N3,000 to its earlier offer, according to sources quoted by Vanguard, thereby, upping its offer to ₦57,000 from the initial ₦54,000 it presented during last week’s meeting.

According to the source, “Government has agreed that NLC is using evidence-based presentation. But they argue that eight states are not paying or not fully implementing the 2019 minimum wage.”

The source further said, “Government is talking of non-availability of funds. They are also talking about the inability of the private sector to pay.”

Meanwhile, the Organised Labour on Wednesday reduced its demand for an improved new minimum from an initial N615,000 to N500,000 after an agreement could not be reached at the Tripartite Committee meeting on Tuesday.

The Deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress Political Commission, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, disclosed to the PUNCH

Ndubuaku said the labour team was compelled to reduce its demand to ensure the Federal Government meets up with the arrangement.

Unfortunately, he expressed concern that despite their shifting ground, the FG is stalling the negotiation process.

He said, “Yes, it is true we have reduced it to N500,000. But we are still not making progress at the moment.”

Ndubuaku had told our correspondent on Tuesday that labour found it appalling that the government is not showing any sign of empathy despite knowing that the masses were struggling to adjust to the hardship and inflation brought about by its policies.

When asked about the next course of action if Wednesday’s meeting ends in another deadlock, the unionist stated that they may return to tell the anxious Nigerian workers to stay back home until the FG comes up with an acceptable offer.

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