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Despite Labour’s disapproval, FG insists on N62,000 minimum wage

The warning comes on the heels of concerns raised by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) that the proposed N62,000 minimum wage by the Federal Government would place an

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The Presidency said on Sunday that the demand for a minimum wage of N250,000 by organized labor is financially unfeasible, cautioning that the Federal Government cannot divert its entire resources to meet the request as it would compromise other vital national priorities and expenditures.

The warning comes on the heels of concerns raised by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) that the proposed N62,000 minimum wage by the Federal Government would place an “unsustainable financial burden on local councils, potentially straining their resources.”

Persecondnews recalls that negotiations between FG and Organised Labour reached an impasse on Tuesday, May 28, when the government and the Organised Private Sector increased their proposed minimum wage to N62,000, an offer that Labour deemed unsatisfactory, leading to a breakdown in talks.

However, the labour unions vehemently rejected the proposal, labelling it as a demeaning and offensive offer that grossly underestimates the value and worth of the average Nigerian worker, who deserves significantly better compensation for their labour.

The President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said that unless the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are prioritizing their own interests over the greater good, they should recognize that the country’s resources cannot be solely allocated to benefit their members, who comprise less than 10% of the total population, at the expense of the majority of Nigerians.

He said: “That is why we keep telling labour to be realistic because the government cannot use all its resources to pay workers. They have other things to do. The workers we are even talking about are not up to 10 percent of the population.

“Many people are self-employed or engaged in the private sector who are not members of the Labour and are not affected by this demand.

“This is even more reason why labour has to reconsider their decisions critically instead of always striving to shut down the system. What the FG did was in consultation with the private sector and others.

“Only Labour, which appears to be in the minority, kept saying they won’t accept N62,000. They are not even employers, but employees.

“Let us wait and hear what they are going to say after their return from the ILO conference. But they have to be realistic.”

Tinubu had announced on Democracy Day that a bill on the new national minimum wage would be submitted to the National Assembly soon.

When questioned about a specific timeline for sending the bill, Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, declined to provide a precise date but hinted that it would likely occur after the Sallah break.

He said: “I am not certain when he plans to do it (Bill). May be after Sallah. But I am not sure whether the FG is meeting with them or whether its position on the minimum wage has changed.

“Don’t forget the current amount on the table was arrived at by the committee that also has the private sector, where the NECA and NACIMMA were also represented.

“That was the figure the FG delegation, sub-nationals, employers, NECA, and other sectors agreed on. So, the FG cannot just decide on any other amount of money on its own without carrying these people along.

“And the government cannot just decide anything without ensuring that the state and local governments are able to pay.”

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