NLC disputes President Tinubu’s assertions on minimum wage agreement

By Innocent Raphael 

Organized Labour has rejected President Bola Tinubu’s assertion that a consensus on a new national minimum wage has been reached. 

In his speech on Wednesday, during his nationwide broadcast commemorating Democracy Day., President Tinubu announced that an agreement had been struck between the Federal Government and Organized Labour on the long-debated new minimum wage and that an executive bill would soon be sent to the National Assembly to formalize this agreement.

However, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) acting President, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, countered these claims on Wednesday, stating that the Tripartite Committee had reached no such agreement on the National Minimum Wage as of the conclusion of negotiations on June 7, 2024. 

According to Adeyanju, the committee had settled on two figures, N250,000 proposed by Organized Labour and N62,000 proposed by the government and the Organized Private Sector, which were to be submitted to the President.

Adeyanju declared that any deviation from these figures would not be accepted by Labour, labelling Tinubu’s announcement as misinformation. 

The NLC emphasized that they could not endorse a minimum wage that amounted to a “starvation wage” and highlighted their ongoing struggle to ensure fair compensation for Nigerian workers.

In their statement, the NLC acknowledged the President’s commitment to democratic principles but expressed disappointment that the President’s advisers had not accurately conveyed the true state of the negotiations. They revealed that despite government assurances, Labour leaders had faced intimidation and harassment during the negotiation process.

The NLC’s response highlights the importance of truthful communication and genuine compromise in the ongoing wage discussions, urging the President to align with the workers’ interests and avoid misleading claims.

This dispute follows President Tinubu’s Democracy Day address, where he highlighted his administration’s preference for democratic engagement over dictatorial measures, noting that no workers had been arrested or threatened during the negotiation process. 

Despite these assurances, the NLC’s statement suggests a significant disconnect between the government’s narrative and Labour’s experiences.

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