Minimum Wage: FG Warns of Mass Layoffs as Labour Rejects Agreement

Federal Government Warns Labour Against Unrealistic Minimum Wage Demands
Nigerian Minimum Wage Crawls Behind Top African Oil Producers
Nigerian Minimum Wage Crawls Behind Top African Oil Producers

The Federal Government has cautioned organized labour against pushing for an unrealistic higher national minimum wage, warning that such demands could undermine the economy, lead to mass retrenchment of workers, and jeopardize the welfare of Nigerians.

Speaking at the opening of the 2024 Synod of the Charismatic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in Abuja, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, emphasized the need for a realistic wage system that safeguards against mass retrenchment while addressing workers' needs.

He stated that the government is not opposed to wage increases but advocates for a sustainable wage system that does not disrupt the economy.

Labour unions, however, have refuted claims by President Bola Tinubu that an agreement had been reached on the new national minimum wage.

Acting President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said that as of the time negotiations ended on June 7, no agreement had been reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage.

The labour unions are demanding a minimum wage of N250,000, while the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector have offered N62,000.

State governors have also stated that they would not be able to sustain any minimum wage higher than N60,000. The unions have dismissed these offers as "starvation wages" and have refused to negotiate further.

Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, Chris Onyeka, said that Labour would not accept the latest offer of N62,000 or the N100,000 proposal made by some individuals and economists. The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, stated that the unionists are waiting on the President to consider Labour's proposal.

The government has reiterated its commitment to reassessing the minimum wage but has cautioned against demands that could disrupt the economy.

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