GOVERANCE

Minimum Wage: We’re Not Fixated On Any Figure- Labour

 

Following the lingering discussions on a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, organised labour has said that it is not fixated on any figure.

The tripartite committee on minimum wage ended its deliberations last week, submitting two figures to President Bola Tinubu for consideration as the new minimum wage.

While the government and the organised private sector are proposing ₦62,000, organised labour is demanding ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage.

However, the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, The Morning Brief on Friday, said no figure is sacrosanct as there is always room for adjustments.

“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,” Osifo said.

“So, there is no figure that is sacrosanct, there is no figure that is cast in stone that both parties will be fixated on it. 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 cannot even join the N60,000, that they cannot 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 is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

The TUC President said that they are not going to pre-empt the President, but they are making all efforts to justify why Tinubu should tilt towards the figure presented by the labour instead of the one by the organised private sector and the government.

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He said that if the President send a figure that is not favourable to the labour to the National Assembly, they will still approach the lawmakers and push them to do much more.

Osifo vowed that the work of the labour leaders will not end until the Minimum Wage Act 2024 becomes law. He said it is premature to predict what labour will do if what is passed is not acceptable to them at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has said that he will only approve a new minimum wage that the government can afford.

He stated this on Wednesday at a dinner to mark Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democracy in Abuja.

“I have to celebrate with you my dear brother, Senate President, Deputy Senate President,” he said, adding that Senate President Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Jibrin Barau would soon get an Executive Bill from him on the new minimum wage.

“The minimum wage is going to be what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford. Cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all,” he said.

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