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Minimum Wage Standoff Persists as Labour Lowers Demand, Government Offers N62,000

Boom RadioNG | June 8, 2024

Nigeria’s quest for a new national minimum wage remains unresolved after a two-day meeting between the Federal Government, organised labour, and the private sector. While both sides acknowledged the inadequacy of the current N30,000 minimum wage due to rising inflation, significant disagreement persists regarding the appropriate new benchmark.

The Federal Government and the private sector presented a revised offer of N62,000, up from the initial N60,000 proposal. However, organised labour, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), countered with a reduced demand of N250,000, significantly lower than their earlier N494,000 proposal.

This development marks the conclusion of deliberations by the tripartite committee established in January 2024. The committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to President Bola Tinubu, who will then present an executive bill to the National Assembly for approval.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu meets with the leaders of The Organised Labour Unions, comprising the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the State House
photo credit: Ajuri Ngelale

The path to a new minimum wage has been fraught with challenges. While all parties agreed that the current N30,000 is insufficient, a significant gap existed between the government’s proposal and labour’s initial demand. The NLC’s insistence on N494,000 was deemed excessive by the government and private sector, who argued it would strain the nation’s finances. Conversely, labour unions considered the N60,000 offer inadequate to meet basic needs.

To emphasize the urgency of their demands, labour unions embarked on a nationwide strike on June 3rd, halting economic activity across the country. The strike was suspended on Tuesday after the government pledged to increase the minimum wage beyond N60,000, paving the way for renewed negotiations.

Written by Boom RadioNG


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