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Labour Demands ₦497,000 Minimum Wage, Rejects Govt’s ₦57,000 Offer

In a continued standoff over Nigeria’s minimum wage, the Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has firmly rejected the Federal Government’s latest offer of a ₦57,000 monthly minimum wage.

This development marks the third proposal in about a week as negotiations resumed on Wednesday.

The dispute over the new minimum wage has seen multiple proposals from the government and the private sector, which have all been turned down by the labour unions.

Initially, the government proposed a ₦48,000 minimum wage, which was promptly rejected.

In subsequent talks, the proposal was increased to ₦54,000, and most recently, to ₦57,000, all of which have failed to meet the expectations of the labour unions.

In response to the government’s latest offer, the NLC and TUC have adjusted their demands, reducing their initial request from ₦615,000 to ₦497,000.

Despite this concession, the gap between the government’s offer and the unions’ demands remains significant, highlighting the ongoing challenge in reaching a consensus.

A source within the Tripartite Committee, which is tasked with negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, revealed that both the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector had slightly increased their proposed minimum wage to ₦57,000, a modest rise from the ₦54,000 suggested earlier in the week.

The labour unions had previously suspended negotiations, accusing the government and private sector representatives of a lack of willingness to agree on a new minimum wage.

Upon resuming talks on Tuesday, the unions remained steadfast in their position, rejecting the government’s ₦54,000 proposal before also dismissing the subsequent ₦57,000 offer.

The urgency of these negotiations is underscored by the looming deadline of May 31, set by the labour unions for the government to finalize the new wage agreement.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s proposals during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, describing them as “unsubstantial” and insufficient to support a family.

“There is nothing on the table… We may be reconvening tomorrow (Wednesday) in the afternoon to continue negotiations,” Ajaero stated.

He emphasized the dire economic conditions facing workers, suggesting a fundamental disparity between the economic realities of the working class and the affluent sectors of society.

“The economy of the workers is totally destroyed. In fact, the workers don’t have any economy.

I think there are two economies in the country; the economy of the bourgeoisie and the economy of the workers.

I think we have to harmonize this so that we can have a meeting point,” Ajaero elaborated, calling for a more equitable solution to the wage impasse.

 

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