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HomeNewsFG Proposes N62,000 Minimum Wage Amid Labour's Opposition

FG Proposes N62,000 Minimum Wage Amid Labour’s Opposition

The Nigerian Federal Government has reiterated its stance on the proposed N62,000 minimum wage, despite strong opposition from Organised Labour, which is demanding a N250,000 minimum wage. The government insists that such a high demand is unsustainable and would severely strain its resources.

 

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, emphasized that the government cannot allocate all its resources to meet the wage demands of a minority group. He highlighted that the labour unions represent less than 10% of the population, and resources must be distributed to benefit the entire nation.

 

“Labour needs to be realistic,” Onanuga stated. “The government has other responsibilities and cannot use all its resources to pay workers. Many people are self-employed or work in the private sector and are not affected by these demands.”

 

Negotiations between the Federal Government and Organised Labour broke down on May 28, when the government, alongside the Organised Private Sector, proposed an increase to N62,000. Labour unions, however, rejected this offer, calling it an insult to Nigerian workers.

 

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) also raised concerns that the proposed N62,000 wage could overburden local councils financially.

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During an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, Onanuga mentioned that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage would be presented to the National Assembly after the Sallah break. He also noted that further meetings with Labour leaders might not occur unless significant new developments arise.

 

“The current proposal was reached after consultations with the private sector and various stakeholders, including NECA and NACIMMA. The government cannot unilaterally change this figure without their input,” Onanuga explained.

 

The tripartite committee established by the Federal Government has urged Labour unions to reconsider their demands in light of economic realities and the non-monetary incentives offered by the government. Bukar Aji, chairman of the committee, highlighted several government initiatives aimed at supporting workers and the economy:

– N35,000 wage award for all treasury-paid federal workers

– N100 billion for gas-fueled buses and gas kit conversions

– N125 billion conditional grant for small and medium enterprises

– N25,000 monthly stipend for 15 million households over three months

– N185 billion in palliative loans to states to mitigate petrol subsidy removal

– N200 billion to boost agricultural production

– N75 billion to strengthen the manufacturing sector

– N1 trillion for student loans

Aji called on the labour unions to accept the N62,000 minimum wage to avoid further economic disruption and potential job losses, as many businesses are already struggling.

 

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