Don’t Submit New Minimum Wage to National House of Assembly Without Consulting Us, Labour Union Tells Tinubu | #NwokeukwuMascot


Labour Union Warns President Tinubu Against Submitting Minimum Wage Proposal to National Assembly Without Consultation | #NwokeukwuMascot

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In a clear message to President Bola Tinubu, the organized labour unions have urged the administration not to present any new minimum wage figure to the National Assembly without first consulting with them and the Organised Private Sector. The call was made by Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), during the ongoing International Labour Conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ajaero emphasized the importance of including labour representatives, employers, and state governors in the discussion process before any minimum wage figure is finalized. He highlighted that any new minimum wage law, once enacted, must also account for arrears, reflecting workers' demands for back payment regardless of the time taken to pass the law.

“We do not expect the President to present a final figure to the National Assembly without consulting with organized labour, employers, and state governors. Everyone will still come together to discuss before transmission to the National Assembly,” Ajaero stated.

Echoing Ajaero's sentiments, TUC President Osifo stressed the need for continued lobbying and negotiation to secure the best possible outcome for Nigerian workers. He underscored the labour unions' lack of knowledge regarding the specifics of the current proposal submitted to the President, stating that they would not endorse any report without thoroughly reviewing and agreeing on its contents.

“Moreover, we have not seen the content of what has been submitted to the President. We will insist on seeing the content and appending our signatures to every page. We will not append our signatures to any page we are not comfortable with,” Ajaero told journalists.

Osifo further explained that the demand for arrears is driven by the severe economic challenges facing Nigerian workers, including high food prices, currency devaluation, and rising energy costs. He highlighted the urgency of the situation, noting that negotiations began in January 2024 and the need for a swift resolution is critical.

“It took about two years to conclude the last minimum wage negotiation. That duration was due to fewer challenges compared to what we face now. Food prices are high, the Naira is devalued, and energy costs have escalated,” Osifo remarked. “Currently, urgency is paramount. We don’t have the luxury of time. Negotiations began in January this year, and we are already discussing sending a bill to the National Assembly for a new minimum wage law.”

Since April 18, 2024, Nigeria has been without a minimum wage law, increasing the pressure on the government to act promptly. Osifo assured that the labour unions would persist in their demand for arrears, regardless of when the new law takes effect, to ensure that workers are compensated for the delays.

The labour leaders' statements underscore the critical need for a collaborative approach in addressing the minimum wage issue, ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders are heard and considered before any legislative action is taken.


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