Nationwide Strike Looms Again As FG Fails To Agree With Labour On New Minimum Wage

Three days after suspending its strike action and the expiration of the 48 hours deadline President Bola Tinubu handed out to the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, yesterday said no new figure was proposed by the Federal Government as minimum wage....CONTINUE READING THE ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

Ajaero disclosed this to newsmen after the third meeting of the tripartite committee to discuss a new minimum wage from the N60,000 earlier rejected by organised labour since the industrial action that grounded the country on Monday. Earlier in the day, the finance minister had submitted the projected cost implications of implementing a new national minimum wage to President Tinubu. Edun’s proposal was a backdrop of an earlier directive by the President to come up with a realistic minimum wage offer to beat the one-week window issued by organised labour.

Speaking to journalists on the minister’s proposal to the president, Ajaero said: “No figure yet; they didn’t present it to the committee of the whole house.” When asked if a new minimum wage should be expected today (Friday), Ajaero said: “That is a wish for all of us, and it’s our prayer”. Further clarifying the N105,000 alleged proposal by the Federal Government, Ajaero said: “It is not before the trade union; such information is not before us, whether officially or unofficially. We are still at our position before now and the government is still in their position before now, until it is made public and discussed, we can’t say the government has a position.”

The presidency also debunked the report making the rounds that the Minister of Finance has proposed N105,000 as the new minimum wage. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, described the news as false. Edun had earlier in the day presented the template to President Tinubu, meeting the 48-hour deadline. Edun, along with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, presented President Tinubu with the cost implications of the new minimum wage in his office at the presidential villa in Abuja. Tinubu is said to be currently reviewing this proposal, and an official announcement is expected soon.

This development follows a recent strike by labour unions, which began on Monday after their meeting with the National Assembly leadership failed to produce a satisfactory outcome. The strike disrupted economic activities nationwide, leading to the closure of international airports, schools, courts, banks, and hospitals. However, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, while addressing journalists, noted that negotiation is still ongoing. She said: “You will get the update when it is finalised. We are still in the talks and we will tell you when we conclude.”

Also, Edun said “there is no cause for alarm” on the ongoing negotiations between the Organised Labour and the Tripartite Committee. The minister made this known after he met with President Tinubu on Thursday. Edun and Bagudu met with Tinubu after the President hosted a delegation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, led by the Managing Director, Makhtar Diop, at the Villa. Asked for updates on the new minimum wage template, Edun simply told reporters: “There is no cause for alarm”

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