Labour Protests as FEC Delays Minimum Wage Memo

 Labour leaders Festus Osifo (second left) and Joe Ajaero (second right) at the 2024 Workers’ Day in Abuja
Labour leaders Festus Osifo (second left) and Joe Ajaero (second right) at the 2024 Workers’ Day in Abuja

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has stepped down the memorandum on the report of the Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage, drawing criticism from the Organised Labour.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated that the decision was made to allow President Bola Tinubu to engage in further consultations with state governors, local government authorities, and the private sector before submitting a proposal to the National Assembly.

The Organised Labour, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have been demanding a minimum wage of ₦250,000 while the Federal Government, states and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have offered ₦62,000. The state governors have argued that they would not sustain a minimum wage higher than ₦60,000.

The Head of Public Relations of the NLC, Benson Upah, criticized the FEC's decision, stating that it "creates room for injurious speculations."

The NLC Assistant General Secretary, Chris Onyeka, said Labour would not accept the latest offer of ₦62,000 or the ₦100,000 proposal made by some individuals and economists.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said the unionists were waiting on the President to consider Labour's proposal.

However, the Information Minister emphasized the need for a realistic wage system that could safeguard against mass retrenchment while addressing workers' needs.

The decision to step down the memorandum has led to an emergency meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum in Abuja, as they seek to address the minimum wage issue.

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