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Labour rejects N48,000 minimum wage proposed by FG

BY Jesupemi Are

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The meeting called by the federal government on Wednesday to discuss the national minimum wage for workers ended abruptly as leaders of organised labour staged a walk-out.

Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Tommy Okon, deputy president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), represented the workers at the meeting.

Speaking on behalf of the labour at a press conference, Ajaero condemned the federal government’s proposed N48,000 wage.

He said the government was not serious about negotiating with the labour.

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Ajaero said the government has until the end of the month to arrive at a decision.

“The government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 as the minimum wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations,” he said.

The NLC and TUC had proposed N615,500 as the minimum wage the federal government should pay Nigerian workers, citing the high cost of living.

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Ajaero said the government’s failure to provide data to support the N48,000 it offered exacerbates the situation.

He said the lack of transparency and good faith undermined the credibility of the negotiation process and eroded trust between the parties involved.

“The organised private sector proposed an initial offer of N54,000, though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receive N78,000, as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed and prevailing standards,” the NLC president said.

“This further demonstrates the unwillingness of employers and government to faithfully negotiate a fair national minimum wage for Workers in Nigeria.

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“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 as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% peculiar allowance and the N35,000 wage award, totalling N77,000 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.”

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