Labour Awaits FG’s Response to ₦615,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

Barring any last-minute changes, organized labour is expecting the Federal Government to present its counter offer to the proposed ₦615,000 minimum wage.

At today’s meeting of the Tripartite Committee for Minimum Wage, the Federal Government is anticipated to make its long-awaited offer.

Professor Theophilus Ndubuaku, a member of the committee from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), informed Vanguard that the counter offer is expected at the committee’s meeting in Abuja. He emphasized that organized labour expects the government to propose a substantial offer to ensure that negotiations conclude by the end of May.

Ndubuaku expressed concerns over some governors’ proposals of ₦40,000 to ₦70,000, indicating that organized labour might not accept such amounts as they are insufficient to meet workers’ needs.

When asked if the government has made any offer, he replied, “We understand that the government has met, but they are still keeping it to themselves. It’s tomorrow (today) that everything will be unveiled.

“We have given them something like an ultimatum that negotiations must be completed this month (May). Although I have reservations, unless we meet every day, they might present something that won’t cause much argument.”

Ndubuaku added, “After tomorrow (today), we will know the government’s position. All committees have met and done their work. We expect this meeting to reveal their offer.”

When questioned if there is a particular offer that labour will reject, Ndubuaku stated, “Definitely, they are not likely to come up with anything tangible. The state governors are discussing ₦40,000, ₦60,000, and ₦70,000, but nobody will accept that. Once we meet, they will explain why they cannot pay something substantial, and then the arguments will begin.”

Regarding the possibility of negotiations extending beyond May, he said, “It’s likely. Depending on the offer revealed tomorrow (today), we might adjourn for two more days and return. At this stage, all committees have met, and their reports are ready. If they don’t want it to drag, it can be concluded before the end of May. Any agreement will need to pass through the National Assembly, which can handle it quickly since a bill is already being drafted.”

As of the time of this report, the government team has remained silent on what it is offering to the organized labour as the new minimum wage.

This article is sourced from The Vanguard newspaper, with minor edits and adaptations by The Spectacles for clarity and readability.