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MINIMUM WAGE: Labour reduces demand as private sector accepts FG’s N57k offer

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MINIMUM WAGE: Labour reduces demand as private sector accepts FG’s N57k offer

The organized labor has adjusted its initial proposal for the new minimum wage from N615,000 to N497,000 during the tripartite negotiations with the Federal Government and the Organized Private Sector (OPS).

According to All Facts Newspaper, while the organized labor rejected the government’s initial offer of N57,000, the OPS agreed to the proposal.

One of the labour leaders expressed anger over the ongoing negotiations saying the government is not ready to negotiate or was not prepared for negotiation.

He said: “Government cannot be telling us that there is no money; this is an insult. We did not remove subsidies or float the national currency. The government created this problem. Since the removal of the petrol subsidy and floating of the naira, has the government shown proof that the country has no money, no?

“We are aware that the government gave members of the National Assembly no less than N160 million each to buy cars, the same government has released N90 billion to subsidise hajj operations.

‘’The government has renovated the Senate chambers, and the vice president’s office, and it is buying luxury buses for Customs in millions of naira.

‘’They are also buying all manner of SUVs for government officers. Since the removal of subsidies, the government has been making life better for political elites who have been feeding fat on workers.

Crude oil sales have increased considerably and it has been getting more money in dollars, while workers have been suffering and going deeper into poverty.

“The state governors have been receiving three times more than they were receiving before the removal of subsidy. We cannot accept this. We did not cause the socio-economic challenges the country is facing.

“The government inflicted these problems on the country with their ill-thought out and unprogressive policies of subsidy removal and devaluation of the national currency. If the country has no money, let it reflect in the lives of government officials, their aides and cronies.

“It is becoming obvious that the government does not want industrial peace. And it is clearly evident that the government is not ready to negotiate. Well, if it is industrial unrest that will make the government do the right thing, we shall give it to them after May ending,” the source told Vanguard.

Another source at the meeting said: “They are crying now. They stuck to N57,000, there is a problem if the government cannot pay appreciable salary increase. There is no sign that there is no money, we adjourned till next Tuesday.

“The government is insisting on N57,000, which is like wage reduction, how can you go and negotiate wage reduction because there’s nobody that is earning N57,000 now?

“We came down from N500,000 to N497,000 because when they increased by N3,000, we now came down by N3,000 too so that if they are joking, we also decided to joke, they are not the only ones who know how to joke. We came down to N497,000, when they came up to N57,000. We told them straight away that we didn’t accept the N57,000 offer.

“They pleaded with labour to accept their offer, we told them there was nothing to plead about. We told them to break down the N57,000 offer, so we will know how much they are allocating to transport, how much to accommodation, how much to health so that we know and not lump everything but they didn’t do that.”

The source said government’s offer was once again presented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

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