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Accept minimum wage offer that won't lead to job losses, FG persuades labour

Organised Labour has insisted on its ₦250,000 demand as the new minimum wage while the Federal Government has refused to budge on its ₦62,000 offer.

Accept minimum wage offer that won't lead to job losses, FG persuades labour

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made the appeal while speaking at the opening of the 2024 Synod of the Charismatic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

The minister reiterated the Federal Government's commitment to reviewing and agreeing to a realistic minimum wage for Nigerian workers, stressing that accepting unrealistic wages would undermine the economy.

He told labour unions that the relief being sought by Nigerians will not only come in the form of wage increase, noting that the government is also making efforts to reduce the cost of living among other measures.

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“As I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is not opposed to the increase of wages for Nigerian Workers but we keep on advocating for a realistic and sustainable wage system for the workers – a wage system that will not undermine the economy, lead to mass retrenchment of workers and jeopardise the welfare of about 200 million Nigerians.

“We want the labour unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of an increase in wages. It will also come as efforts to reduce the cost of living and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians,” Idris said.

In his Democracy Day address, President Bola Tinubu assured organised labour that an executive bill on the new minimum wage for workers would soon be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

Though the President remained silent on whether the ₦62,000 offer will be increased, the labour unions have insisted on their demand of ₦250,000.

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The Acting President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Adewale Adeyanju, said this in a statement while reacting to Tinubu's Democracy Day speech.

“Our demand still remains 250,000 only and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position which we consider a great concession by Nigerian workers during the tripartite negotiation process.

“We are, therefore, surprised at the submission of Mr President over a supposed agreement.

“We believe that he may have been misled into believing that there was an agreement with the NLC and TUC.

“There was none and it is important that we let the President, Nigerians and other national stakeholders understand this immediately to avoid a mix-up in the ongoing conversation around the national minimum wage,” he said.

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