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SGF Says Tinubu Committed To Wage Above ₦60,000, Labour To Meet With Organs

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As the nationwide strike by the Organised Labour over a new minimum wage for workers paralyse economic activities in Nigeria, the Federal Government says President Bola Tinubu is committed to a national minimum wage above ₦60,000.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, announced after a marathon meeting with labour leaders in Abuja late Monday.

He said the President is “committed to a national minimum wage that is higher than N60,000”.

“The tripartite committee is to meet every day for the next one week with a view to arriving at an agreeable national minimum wage,” Akume said, adding that the Organised Labour, in deference to the high esteem of the President, agreed to convene a meeting of its organs immediately to consider the commitment of the President.

The meeting has the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero; and his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, in attendance.

On the government’s side were Akume; Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris Malagi; and Labour Minister Nkiruka Onyejeocha; among others.

Businesses, airports, universities, hospitals and power supply were affected as Labour began an indefinite strike on Monday over Labour’s demand for a new minimum wage.

Both NLC and TUC said the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 can no longer cater to the well-being of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which expired in April 2024, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The Act should be reviewed every five years to meet the contemporary economic demands of workers.

Labour later handed the Federal Government a May 31 deadline for the new minimum wage. On May 31, the workers’ organs in the country declared a nationwide strike beginning on Monday, June 3, 2024, over the government committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and reversal of the electricity tariff hike.

During the failed talks with the government, Labour rejected three government offers, the latest being N60,000. The TUC and the NLC subsequently pulled out of negotiations, insisting on ₦494,000 as the new minimum wage.

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