Labour Leaders to Meet President Tinubu Today, Advocate for N250,000 Minimum Wage

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Labour Leaders to Meet President Tinubu Today, Advocate for N250,000 Minimum Wage

 

By Deborah Tolu-Kolawole

Organized Labour

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is set to push for a N250,000 minimum wage in a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the State House, Abuja, today.

 

Benson Upah, Head of Public Affairs for the NLC, confirmed that Labour leaders would present their demand for a N250,000 minimum wage during discussions with the President. “We are going to the table with our demand of N250,000, especially as the cost of living has significantly increased. We have been very reasonable and patriotic,” Upah stated.

 

This meeting follows President Tinubu’s commitment to engage in further consultations with stakeholders regarding the minimum wage. The discussion is taking place nearly a month after the President announced 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.

 

On June 25, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by the President, postponed deliberations on the new minimum wage to allow for more stakeholder engagement ahead of the planned executive bill. This decision came after President Tinubu received the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage report from George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The report, submitted by the committee’s chairman, Bukar Goni Aji, recommended a N62,000 minimum wage based on inputs from federal and state governments as well as the Organized Private Sector.

 

While Labour has recommended a N250,000 minimum wage, state governors have expressed concerns about their ability to pay even the proposed N62,000. The unions argue that the current N30,000 minimum wage is inadequate, given the rising cost of living driven by petrol subsidy removal and the unification of forex windows.

 

Following the FEC meeting, President Tinubu and Vice President Kassim Shettima met with governors and ministers at the 141st National Economic Council meeting to discuss the new minimum wage, though the outcome of that meeting was not disclosed.

 

The ongoing minimum wage negotiations have yet to reach a consensus among Organized Labour, government representatives, and the private sector. Frustrated by the lack of progress, labour unions declared an indefinite industrial action on June 3, disrupting economic activities and government operations across the country, including airports, hospitals, banks, the national grid, the National Assembly, and state assemblies.

 

The industrial action was suspended after Labour leaders met with senior government officials, who assured them of the government’s willingness to increase its offer.

 

In January, President Tinubu established the tripartite committee to negotiate a new minimum wage ahead of the expiration of the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 in April 2024. The committee includes representatives from Organized Labour, federal and state governments, and the Organized Private Sector.


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