Minimum Wage: FG Fails To Shift Grounds, As Meeting Ends In Deadlock

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Yesterday’s deliberation on minimum wage between the federal government and Organised Labour hit a brick wall when government failed to shift grounds on the N60,000 it proposed during the last meeting.

With this latest move, organised labour comprising Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, may embark on a nationwide strike.

It would be recalled that NLC and TUC had given a May 31 ultimatum on the new minimum wage.

As of the time of filing this report, an emergency press briefing has been called by labour.

On Tuesday, talks between the federal government and organised Labour broke down after government and organised private sector raised their offers to N60,000.

The government added N3,000 to its initial offer of N57,000 proposed last week, taking the total figure to N60,000.

It was dismissed by labour at the meeting.

At the meeting, labour again lowered its demand by removing N3,000 from the N497,000 it proposed last week, pegging the new proposal at N494,000.

To fast-track the negotiation process, the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on May Day gave the committee till the end of the month to wrap up talks on a new national minimum wage.

That ultimatum will expire on Friday night.

President of TUC, Festus Osifo said the ultimatum issued by labour remained following the breakdown of talks on Tuesday.

“We have an ultimatum on May Day that if by May end, we don’t have a new minimum wage that will take a worker home, we will not be able to guarantee industrial peace.

“We are sticking to that ultimatum,” the president of the TUC, Osifo said.

President Tinubu, through Vice President Kashim Shettima, on January 30 inaugurated the 37-member tripartite committee to come up with a new minimum wage.

With its membership cutting across federal and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, the panel is to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

Shettima, during the committee’s inauguration, urged the members to “speedily” arrive at a resolution and submit their reports early.

“This timely submission is crucial to ensure the emergence of a new minimum wage,” Shettima said.

He also urged collective bargaining in good faith, emphasising contract adherence and encouraging consultations outside the committee.

The 37-man committee is chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.

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