BREAKING: Finance Minister Submits Payment Template To Tinubu on Minimum Wage


BREAKING: Finance Minister Submits Payment Template To Tinubu on Minimum Wage


The Federal Government and Organized Labour postponed the minimum wage discussions to Thursday, anticipating the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, will present a salary template to President Bola Tinubu today. On Tuesday, Tinubu directed Edun to provide the cost implications for a new minimum wage within two days.


During a meeting with the government negotiation team led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, at the presidential villa in Abuja, Tinubu issued the directive. Labour union sources involved in the discussions noted the session was delayed to wait for the presidential template before continuing negotiations.


A participant at the meeting said, “The session was adjourned to Thursday to allow time for the finance minister to present the new wage template as directed by the president. We will reconvene at 2 p.m.”


A senior labour representative on the tripartite committee emphasized the importance of the template for the wage negotiation process. This representative, who requested anonymity, expressed optimism about progress once the template is reviewed by all parties.


Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, revealed that the President demanded a financial breakdown of the new minimum wage within 48 hours. He stated, “The President instructed the finance minister to provide the necessary figures by today or tomorrow for negotiations with labour.”


Idris reassured that the President is committed to the committee’s decisions and the welfare of Nigerians. He added, “The government supports wage discussions and aims to balance its commitments with practical realities.”


Idris further explained that Tinubu ordered federal and private sector representatives, as well as state governments, to collaborate on establishing a feasible new wage. He noted, “The President mandated a unified effort to propose a sustainable and realistic wage for Nigerians.”


Idris confirmed the government’s commitment to proposing a new minimum wage within a week. He said, “We will work diligently to present a new wage acceptable and sustainable for Nigeria.”


Despite the National Assembly’s intervention, a nationwide strike by labour unions on Monday and Tuesday disrupted economic activities. Banks, airports, schools, and courts were closed, prompting the Federal Government to seek an urgent resolution.


Following discussions with the SGF, National Assembly leaders, and National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday, the unions suspended the strike for five days after Tinubu agreed to a minimum wage exceeding N60,000. The tripartite committee committed to daily meetings until the new wage is established.


In an interview with Channels Television, Trade Union Congress President Festus Osifo indicated a willingness to compromise on the union’s N494,000 demand. He insisted the new minimum wage should reflect the purchasing power of N30,000 in 2019 and N18,000 in 2014.


Meanwhile, airlines reported significant revenue losses due to the two-day strike, which shut down airports and led to numerous cancelled flights. United Nigeria Airlines COO, Osita Okonkwo, highlighted the financial impact, stating, “We lost millions due to the strike, missing 48 flights over two days.”


Okonkwo suggested essential services like air travel should be exempt from strikes, citing the inconvenience to passengers. Ibom Air COO, George Uriesi, also reported substantial revenue losses, stressing the backlog of passengers would affect future operations.


Assistant General Secretary of the Aviation Round Table, Olumide Ohunayo, noted the broader economic impact on the aviation industry, including airlines, airport terminals, and associated services. Centurion Security Limited CEO, John Ojikutu, emphasized the long-term economic consequences, pointing out the disparity in revenue between domestic and foreign airlines.


Debo Adeniran, Executive Director of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, urged the Federal Government and labour unions to finalize negotiations swiftly. He emphasized, “The FG and labour unions should harmonize their positions quickly based on available resources.”


Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, called for honesty and realism in the negotiations. He concluded, “The FG must be realistic in presenting a new minimum wage to ensure prompt agreement with labour unions.”


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