Minimum wage: Cttee may propose N100,000, as Govs, OPS express concern

Strong indications have emerged that the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government may recommend between N80,000 and N100,000, as the new minimum wage. Also, consideration of the concerns over “affordability and availability of funds” raised by the Governors and the organised private sector, continue to hamper early resolution of the actual amount....Read The Full Story Here ▶

Recall that the federal government had earlier proposed N60,000 as the new minimum wage, which was rejected by labour.

According to a source, while the government is ready to add 100% ie N30,000 to the prevailing N30,000, other additions are also being worked out that will bring total figure to a rate between N80,000 and N100,000 which they hope will be acceptable to the parties

Meanwhile, the federal government said on Wednesday , that it is ready to fast track the implementation of the minimum wage, as recommended by tripartite Committee.

As at the end of the tripartite committee meeting on Wednesday, the committee was yet to have a new figure officially rolled out due to the concerns raised by the Governors and the organised private sector.

President of Trade Union Congresss, TUC, Festus Osifo, while speaking with journalists at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, said that the organised labour was yet to get a fresh proposal from the federal government.

“As we are today, the government is yet to present anything new and that is where we are at the moment”.

This was corroborated by Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of State for Labour who stated that “it is not yet ripe for public consumption”

She added that “You do not discuss your strategies and processes of your deliberations until you come to the conclusion. I think that Nigerians will be happy to hear the end of the story”.

Asked whether there has been an upward review, the minister said “we are working and I think Nigerians will be happy to hear the end results”.

Onyejeocha, who said the government will not want to keep Nigerians guessing, added that the issues will not cross the deadline.

“I don’t think it will go beyond the deadline. We do not want to keep Nigerians guessing, sleeping and not relaxing so, I believe that we would be able to do it. What is it, we are brothers, we are sisters and we are all committed to the Nigerian project”.

She stated that the federal government does not have the powers to determine wages for the others, especially the States and the organised private sector, adding that “we cannot force the private sector to accept wages that their businesses cannot carry.

“The only challenge is that we are three people and the three people must agree. The federal government does not have the powers to force the private sector accept a wage that their businesses will not be able to carry”.

She absolved the federal government from the delays, adding that “The federal government cannot be the problem.

“The problem is with our junior brothers, so to speak, that are having challenges in their businesses and you see that the economy has gone low for a while now and businesses are closing.

“Those are the people that you want them to pay what they cannot afford and now, if you push them further and they retrench people, which one would you prefer.

“So, we prefer that people will still be on their jobs and be getting some funds to run their families. What is on focused is that at the end of the day, we will hear a good story”

On the reactions of the Governors, the Minister stated that “the Governors are saying that we should look at availability of funds and affordability to pay; that they don’t want people to get into the agreement alone, but that we should also look at their concerns. At the end of the day, we will come out of this better.”

Wednesday’s meeting was attended by all the relevant stakeholders, including Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Kwara state governor, who gathered at NICON Luxury Hotel in Abuja to end disagreements over the actual amount to be earned by Nigeria workers in the next five years.

The current Minimum Wage Act of 2019 had expired on the 19th of April, 2024, necessitating the need for a new wage law that will be binding on all employers of labour.

President Bola Tinubu had on the 30th of January, 2024, established the 37- member Tripartite Committee to work out modalities for a new minimum wage.

Wednesday meeting which started at about 4pm, for the first time, had all the relevant stakeholders present, perhaps, as a response to the marching orders given to Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday.

The Ministers include Wale Edun, Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Atiku Bagudu, Budget and National Planning, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, State Labour and Employment.

Folasade Yemi- Esan, Head of Service of the Federation, Abdulateef Shitu, Acting Director General of the Nigeria Governors Forum NGF, also joined the other members of the Tripartite Committee, as part of measures to fast track the resolution of the minimum wage impasse.

Leadership of the organised labour, led by Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC and Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress TUC, also joined the team at about 4pm.

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