FG Insists on ₦‎62,000 Minimum Wage Despite Opposition by Organized Labour

The Presidency has said that the N250,000 minimum wage demanded by Organised Labour is unsustainable, cautioning that the Federal Government cannot allocate all its resources to meet such a demand.

The Federal Government and Organised Labour had previously failed to reach an agreement on the minimum wage, with the government and Organised Private Sector offering N62,000, which Labour deemed an insult.

Giving fresh insight on the issue, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the government cannot channel all its resources to pay workers, as it has other responsibilities to attend to.

Onanuga urged Labour to be realistic, considering that workers are only about 10% of the population, and many others are self-employed or engaged in the private sector.

He said, “That is why we keep telling labour to be realistic because the government cannot use all its resources to pay workers. They have other things to do. The workers we are even talking about are not up to 10 per cent of the population. Many people are self-employed or engaged in the private sector, who are not members of Labour, and are not affected by this demand.

“This is even more reason why labour has to reconsider their decision critically instead of always striving to shut down the system. What the FG did was in consultation with the private sector and others. Only Labour, which appears to be in the minority, kept saying they won’t accept N62,000. They are not even employers but employees.

“Let us wait and hear what they are going to say after their return from the ILO conference. But they have to be realistic.”

He noted that the Federal Government’s decision was made in consultation with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“I am not certain when he plans to do it (Bill). May be after Sallah. But I am not sure whether the FG is meeting with them or whether its position on the minimum wage has changed. Don’t forget the current amount on the table was arrived at by the committee that also has the private sector where the NECA and NACIMMA were also represented.

“That was the figure the FG delegation, sub-nationals, employers, NECA and other sectors agreed on. So, the FG cannot just decide on any other amount of money on its own without carrying these people along. And the government cannot just decide anything without ensuring that the state and local governments are able to pay,” he said.

President Tinubu had announced plans to send an executive bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly, but no date has been set for the transmission of the bill.

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