NLC, TUC Reject FG N48,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

The Organized labour has rejected the Federal Government N48,000 minimum wage proposal, describing it as an insult to sensibilities of Nigerian workers.

However, this resulted the Unions walking out of the negotiations table on minimum wage with the government and Organised Private Sector.

In a statement jointly issued and signed by NLC President, Joe Ajaero and TUC Deputy President, Tommy Etim Okon, last Wednesday. 15th May 2024, however expressed disappointment, saying the federal government has shown its unseriousness with the amount it proposed.

They said despite their sincere efforts to come to a fair agreement, the actions of the Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) were deemed inadequate, ultimately causing the breakdown in negotiations.

The labour leaders called on the government to reconsider its position and return to the negotiation table with a reasonable figure that can give workers a living wage as promised by President Bola Tinubu.

“In contrast the Organised Private Sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of N54,000 (fifty-four thousand Naira) though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receives N78,000 (seventy-eight thousand Naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.

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“Furthermore, the Government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation.

“This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

“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 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) wage award, totaling N77,000 (seventy-seven thousand Naira) 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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“In light of these developments, and in order to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken the decision to walk out of the negotiation process. We remain committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the Government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable resolution to this impasse.

“We call upon the Government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with clear hands that reflects the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confront not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the federal government.

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“Together, in a reasonable dialogue, we can work to give Nigerian workers a N615,000 (Six hundred and Fifteen thousand Naira) National Minimum wage as proposed by us on the basis of evidence and Data. This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President; his Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a Living wage for Nigerian workers.”

By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja