The government says the most important thing to consider for a new national minimum wage is the ability to pay workers when due.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, while addressing the media after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.
The minister said after due consultations with all relevant stakeholders the government decided to peg the new wage at N24,000.
According to him, organised labour union leaders in the country had proposed N30,000 as the new minimum wage after it called off its recent warning strike. However, state governors insisted they could only pay N20,000.
The minister noted that the most important thing to consider in the negotiations for a new national minimum wage is the ability of the government to pay workers when due.
He said, "The state governments' figure last time was N20,000; the federal government had a figure of N24,000 and that was where we all stood.
"These negotiations took into account these irreducible offers from the different governments but we could not arrive at a consensus.
"Even though we adjourned that meeting and said we would put up a report that will reflect this position, we are still continuing to discuss informally to see if we can arrive at a common figure. So, discussions are still ongoing and that is where we are."
President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a 30-member tripartite committee responsible for the negotiation of a new national minimum wage on November 27, 2017.
However, failure to announce a new minimum wage led organised labour unions to embark on a warning strike across the nation, an action that was soon suspended after negotiations with the government.