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Breaking: FG’s N48,000 Proposed Minimum Wage Mockery, Insult To Nigerian’s Dignity -Labour



-as Labour walks out on proposal

-Urges Govt To Consider Hardship, Socioeconomic Realities In Nigeria

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), on Wednesday walked out on government ‘s proposal of N48,000 as new minimum wage for workers, describing the proposed take home pay as not just a mockery but insult to workers’ dignity.

The unions had walked out in the middle of negotiations due to the turn of events which were obviously against the interest and welfare of workers in the country.

While grappling with the meagre figure of N48,000 proposed by the Federal government despite the high cost of living in the country due to government ‘s policies, the labour leaders were further shocked when the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) which had earlier declared that the least workers in the private sector should be paid should be N78,000, suddenly turned around to propose N54,000 as the new national minimum wage.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and TUC Deputy President, Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, in a joint statement read at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, expressed disappointment that the government was proposing a wage reduction instead of increment, in the face of current harsh economic realities

The statement tagged: “Minimum Wage: Government Presents Wage Reduction”, the duo said; “We are disappointment as negotiations at the Tripartite National Minimum Wage resumed today but reached an unfortunate impasse as result of the apparent unseriousness of the Government to engage in reasonable negotiation with Nigerian workers.

“Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has led to a breakdown in negotiations.

“The Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 (forty-eight thousand Naira) as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.”

NLC and TUC further said; “In contrast the Organised Private Sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of N54,000 (fifty-four thousand Naira) though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receives N78,000 (seventy-eight thousand Naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.

“The Government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.”

The two labour centre went on to say: “As representatives of Nigerian workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a wage proposal that would result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers who are already receiving N30,000 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) wage award, totaling N77,000 (seventy-seven thousand Naira) only.

“Such a regressive step would undermine the economic well-being of workers and their families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage Fixing process.

“In light of these developments, and in order to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken the decision to walk out of the negotiation process.

“We remain committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the Government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable resolution to this impasse.

“We call upon the Government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with clear hands that reflects the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confront not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the federal government.

“Together, in a reasonable dialogue, we can work to give Nigerian workers a N615,000 (Six hundred and Fifteen thousand Naira) National Minimum wage as proposed by us on the basis of evidence and Data. This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President; his Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a Living wage for Nigerian workers.”

Recall that Organised Labour had on May Day, proposed that the Federal government should pay Nigerian workers N615,000 minimum wage, citing high cost of living as the yardstick for the proposal.