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Minimum wage: Labour may settle for the N62,000 from FG



Minimum wage: Labour may settle for the N62,000 from FG

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) may settle for the N62,000 minimum wage agreed by Organized Private Sector (OPS) and federal government.


NLC and TUC presidents, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, respectively, had said they would not back down on their demand for a living wage of N250,000 to be paid to workers.


However, President Tinubu’s statements during Democracy Day in the morning, during state broadcast and dinner speech , on Wednesday, June 12, may have calmed the tension of labour leaders.


While President Tinubu during morning broadcast said he would forward what was submitted by the Tripartite Committee on minimum wage to the National Assembly, during dinner speech, he advised labour to “Cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all.”


Tinubu added that he cannot accept the N250,000 demand by labour because he can only approve “what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford”; he told the audience made up of mostly government officials.


READ ALSO: We cannot pay N62k minimum wage- LGAs chairmen


Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) had also in their separate statements said they cannot pay more than N60,000 minimum wage.


Speaking on Channels TV morning programme, TUC president, Festus Osifo, said the demand of labour for N250,000 was not cast on iron. He said their demand was a living wage.


“No figure that is sacrosanct,” Osifo said when asked if labour could adjust. He added, “there is no figure that is cast in stone that both parties will be fixated on it.”


“What we said is that for us, when we give figures, there is always a room to meander; there is always a room for us to do some adjustment here and there,’ the TUC president said.


Osifo said what led to labour’s industrial action was the government representatives’ words that no “kobo” would be added to the N60,000 proposal they had made.


“One of the reasons that we went on industrial action the last time was because when it got to N60,000, they told us that a kobo could not even join the N60,000; that they could not even add one naira to it.
“So that was one of the reasons that led to that industrial action beyond the fact that there were also delays.”


President Tinubu promised labour he was committed to paying more than N60,000 minimum wage. The promise led to suspension of indefinite strike started by labour. Whether labour will accept the N62,000 minimum wage remains to be seen.


Osifo said if the president submits the committee’s recommendation of N62,000 minimum wage to National Assembly, labour would take its pressure to the lawmakers.