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There will be job losses if Tinubu approves ₦62k as minimum wage, Soludo warns

Soludo said the Federal Government's proposal of ₦62,000 as the new minimum wage will crumble small-scale businesses and further deteriorate the economic situation.

Soludo praises for Tinubu for giving South-East 'juicy portfolios'.

Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, gave the warning while speaking at The Platform Nigeria, a programme by Lagos-based church, Covenant Nation, to mark this year's Democracy Day on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

He stressed that not all state governments and the Organised Private sector can afford to pay the ₦62,000 being proposed by the Federal Government much less the ₦250,000 demanded by Organised Labour.

He said he pities Tinubu if he approves unsustainable minimum wage for workers in the country, warning that such a decision might lead to job losses and worsen the economic situation.

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Recall that Soludo and his 35 colleagues in the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) have previously declared that both the Federal Government offer and labour demands on minimum wage are unsustainable.

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

However, Soludo warned that the move could have unintended consequences, considering the private sector employs a huge percentage of the total workforce in the country and not all of them can pay what the Federal Government has proposed.

“The minimum wage thing, everybody is right. The worker is right to say, ‘What am I getting?’ Nobody is asking what does a worker do? We are not asking that question yet. All we are saying is: ‘How much does he need?’ He (the worker) is right, and for me, even if we pay N1 million, it’s not enough.

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“But on the other hand, you have to come back to reality; talking about these MSMEs, the schools, churches, so on and so forth. You will have to pay your own driver. We are all in it. Whatever they agree, we will muddle through but may be after one year, we will need to meet to discuss the consequences.

“I pity the President because it will all be on his head if the consequences come down, whatever it is, if whatever is negotiated is unsustainable or payable or whatever. Months to come, who will bear the responsibility? Not me,” he said.

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