Advocate for realistic wages for workers, FG tells Labour

Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, has encouraged Organised Labour to agree to a national minimum wage that won’t harm the economy.

The Minister underlined the need for a realistic and sustainable minimum wage structure that balances workers’ needs with the nation’s economic reality.

He spoke Wednesday, on the first day of the Charismatic Bishops Conference of Nigeria’s 2024 Synod in Abuja.

He stressed the government’s commitment to reviewing the minimum wage, but he advised against making demands that would be detrimental to the economy.

He said, “As I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is not opposed to the increase of wages for Nigerian Workers but we keep on advocating for a realistic and sustainable wage system for the workers – a wage system that will not undermine the economy, lead to mass retrenchment of workers and jeopardize the welfare of about 200 million Nigerians.

“We want the Labour Unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of an increase in wages.

“It will also come as efforts to reduce the cost of living and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians. And this is where programmes like the Presidential CNG initiative come in. By replacing or complementing gasoline usage with CNG, that programme alone will cut transportation costs by as much as 50 per cent.”

He noted that the President has been working hard to drive the country towards sustainable development.

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mr President stepped up with a great sense of courage and responsibility. In the last year, he has been implementing crucial and comprehensive reforms aimed at steering our country back onto the path of growth, prosperity, and sustainable development.

“President Tinubu has never shied away from acknowledging the reality of these pains. In his Democracy Day address delivered to the nation just this morning, President Tinubu summed it up very aptly: “The reforms we have initiated are intended to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth.

“There is no doubt the reforms have occasioned hardship. Yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the economy over the long run so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay, and compensation for his endeavour and labour.”

“Indeed, as a nation, we are enduring short-term sacrifice for long-term benefits. We are inspired by the bigger picture of a Nigeria where no one is left behind,” he said.

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