Minimum Wage: Nigerian Govt Invites Labour Union For Another Round Of Negotiations

Minimum Wage: Nigerian Govt Invites Labour Union For Another Round Of Negotiations On Friday

3 weeks ago
2 mins read

The Federal Government has invited organised labour for another round of negotiations on the national minimum wage. The meeting is set for Friday, according to a source close to the talks.

“A letter has been addressed to Labour by the committee chairman and signed by the NSIWC chairman. The meeting is scheduled for Friday,” the source said. “Of course, Labour will attend. If they present a better offer on Friday, we will accept it.”

This meeting follows a recent breakdown in talks after the Federal Government’s offer of N60,000 was rejected by Labour, which had lowered its demand to N494,000 from an initial N497,000.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had given the committee until the end of May to conclude negotiations. This ultimatum expires Friday night. TUC President, Festus Osifo,reiterated Labour’s position: “We have an ultimatum on May Day that if by May end, we don’t have a new minimum wage that will take a worker home, we will not be able to guarantee industrial peace. We are sticking to that ultimatum.”

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage Debate: NECA Warns Labour Union Of Business Collapse Over N400,000 Demand

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has called for consideration and patriotism from Labour in their demands. In a statement, she emphasised the government’s commitment to a fair and realistic wage for workers.

“We appeal to organised labour and, indeed, other relevant stakeholders to be considerate and patriotic in their demands, recognising that our economy is still recovering from the devastating effects of the pandemic and other global economic shocks,” Onyejeocha said. “We are committed to putting the people first and ensuring that our economic policies benefit all Nigerians, not just a select few.”

The Minister stressed the complexity of the economic challenges and the need for collective effort. “The government remains dedicated to prioritising the well-being of our citizens and it wants to urge all relevant parties to demonstrate patriotism and understanding, particularly during this critical period when President Bola Tinubu is working diligently to revitalise the economy.”

The government acknowledges the economic hardship faced by Nigerians and calls for collaboration to find a solution. Onyejeocha described the upcoming meeting with Labour as a crucial step towards securing a fair wage.

“We recognise the importance of ensuring that our citizens receive a decent standard of living wage, and we are committed to making this a reality,” she said. “After hours of intense negotiations, labour leaders took a recess to consult with other key stakeholders and have pledged to return to the negotiating table for further discussion. We welcome this development and are optimistic that our continued engagement will yield a positive outcome.”

The Federal Government’s recent concession from N57,000 to N60,000 demonstrates its willingness to listen and compromise, she added. However, Labour remains firm in its position that negotiations must conclude by Friday.

A senior NLC official confirmed this stance, saying, “Our position has not changed. We expect negotiations on the minimum wage to end on Friday.”

As the deadline approaches, both sides face mounting pressure to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of Nigerian workers while considering the country’s economic constraints. The outcome of Friday’s meeting will be crucial in determining the future of the minimum wage and the broader industrial peace in Nigeria.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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