Minimum Wage: Labour Waits On Tinubu’s Executive Bill

Following the expiration of the suspension of its nationwide strike by five days, there are indications that organised labour would not resume its strike action today, as the labour leaders are waiting to see the amount President Bola Tinubu would transmit in an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for legislative action, as the new minimum wage for workers in the country....Read The Full Story Here ▶

Recall that Labour had relaxed its nationwide strike by one week which expires midnight, to create the right ambience for negotiation to continue unhindered, in order to allow the Federal Government commit to a concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage; take definitive steps to reverse the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kwh and abolish the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers into bands.

Recall also that after several months, the negotiations for a new minimum wage by the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government came to an end last Friday, and the recommendations forwarded to President Tinubu who is expected to send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly.

Although organised labour, comprising of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), have rejected the N62,000 last offered by government before the negotiations ended, President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero has said the relaxed strike would not resume today (Tuesday).

Speaking during the ongoing International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Ajaero said the reason was because the figures presented by the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage were with President Tinubu.

Ajaero, however, maintained that the submission of N62, 000 as proposed by the government and labour’s proposal of N250, 000 does not in any way translate to labour accepting the government’s offer as the new minimum wage He said: “The tripartite committee submitted two figures to the President. Government and employers proposed N62, 000 while labour proposed N250, 000.

We are waiting for the decision of the President. Our National Executive Council (NEC) will deliberate on the new figure when it is out. “We cannot declare strike now because the figures are with the President.

We will wait for the President’s decision. “During the tenure of the immediate past President, the figure that was proposed to him was N27, 000 by the tripartite committee but he increased it to N30, 000. We are hopeful that this President will do the right thing. The President had noted that the difference between N62, 000 and N250, 000 is a wide gulf.”

On the cry by state governors on inability to pay N60, 000 he said: “How can any governor say he cannot pay? They cannot also be calling for the decentralisation of the minimum wage. “Are their wages decentralised? Governors whose states are not contributing a dime to the national purse and who generate pitiable Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) are collecting the same amount as governors whose states are generating billions of dollars into the FAAC. They should decentralise their salaries and emoluments first.

“So, where is the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, getting his money from? He is paying N70, 000 minimum wage. This is the type of governor that should be emulated and not the lazy ones.”

NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, told our correspondent that the review meeting for the minimum wage transmitted to the President was yet to hold to determine the next line of action by the labour centres.

Although some executives of labour had initially told our correspondent labour’s bench mark was at least N100,000, the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Chris Onyeka, has, however, noted that labour would not accept the Federal Government’s offer of N62,000 nor the N100,000 minimum wage proposal by some individuals.

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