Labour Makes Major Demand As FG Is Set To Approve Final Minimum Wage Figure

Labour Makes Major Demand As FG Is Set To Approve Final Minimum Wage Figure

Organised Labour has urged President Bola Tinubu to demonstrate his support for Nigerian workers by approving their demand for a ₦250,000 minimum wage to counteract the current inflationary pressures in the country.

Adewale Adeyanju, a member of the labour negotiating team in the Tripartite Committee of the New National Minimum Wage and President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), criticized state Governors for impeding progress towards a fair wage for public workers. In an interview with Vanguard, he stated, “If you are an employer of labour and you do not have the love of your workers in your heart, how do you call yourself an employer of labour?”

Adeyanju highlighted the challenges faced during negotiations, saying, “We have problems with OPS and the state governors that believe they cannot afford to pay ₦30,000 talk less of the figure that labour is demanding.” He described how the Governors were reluctant, initially bargaining as if they were negotiating over “tomatoes and onions” before finally proposing ₦62,000.

Despite the proposal of ₦62,000 from the government and the OPS, Labour maintained its stance on ₦250,000. “The ball now lies on the table of Mr President who I believe that this is an opportunity to show empathy to the whole workers,” Adeyanju said. He emphasized that the proposed minimum wage, which is reviewed every five years, should significantly impact workers’ lives, and urged the President to honor his promise of a living wage.

Adeyanju further argued that the economy could support their demand and criticized state Governors for their reluctance, accusing them of maintaining a “slave wage” to sustain their luxurious lifestyles. “The security vote that they are getting is enough to pay that minimum wage. What are they doing with their security votes? Which security are they providing to the citizens?” he questioned, noting that some Governors, such as those in Edo State, have already been paying ₦70,000.

The labour leader concluded by appealing to President Tinubu not to be swayed by the Governors but to fulfill his commitment to improving workers’ wages.

The demand by the organised labour comes ahead of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of the federal government which, barring any last minute changes,  is set to hold on Tuesday (today). According to a report by Daily Trust, the FEC meeting is set to discuss and decide the minimum wage figure.

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