FG, Labour meet again to address new minimum wage

By Kunle Sanni

Representatives of organized labour and the federal government convened at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, in an effort to resolve the ongoing negotiations for a new minimum wage.

Leading the labour delegation were Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero and Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Festus Osifo. The team arrived at the State House around 2 p.m. to meet with President Bola Tinubu.

The meeting follows recent developments in which the Tripartite Committee on the new national minimum wage submitted two conflicting proposals to the President.

The labour representatives and government officials aimed to find common ground on this critical issue affecting workers nationwide.

After the meeting, Minister of State for Labour Nkiru Nyejiocha expressed optimism about resolving the matter soon. She mentioned that both parties agreed to reconvene within the next seven days to continue discussions.

NLC President Joe Ajaero clarified that the meeting was more of a discussion than a negotiation.

“In a real sense, it wasn’t a negotiation but a discussion, and we have had that discussion. We agreed to look at the real terms and reconvene next week. We didn’t go down there to talk naira and kobo. At least there were some basic issues that we agreed on,” he said.

Regarding the union’s stance on the minimum wage, Ajaero reiterated their demand for N250,000, contrasting with the government’s proposal of N62,000.

“The status quo in terms of the amount, N250,000 and N62,000, remains until we finish this conversation,” he asserted.

TUC President Festus Osifo highlighted that the labor leaders presented the pressing issues affecting the nation to President Tinubu. They discussed the economic challenges, the devaluation of the naira, and its impact on the prices of commodities and goods in the market.

“In the meeting, we tried to put the issues on the table—issues that are bothering and biting Nigerians today, the economic difficulties, and the value of the naira. We said let us meet with the father of the country and have this conversation.

“We made all the arguments, the economic analysis, macro, micro, fiscal, and monetary issues,” Osifo explained.

At the end of the meeting, President Tinubu made his remarks, and both parties agreed to internalize the discussions and reconvene within the next week to continue negotiations and work towards a resolution.

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