Labour Unions Walk Out of Minimum Wage Negotiations 

...as FG proposes N48,000 as new minimum wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday walked out of the minimum wage negotiation after the Federal Government offered to pay N48,000, a figure far below the N615,00 the unions were demanding as the new national minimum wage.

After abandoning the session, the furious labour leaders summoned  an emergency press conference where they vented their displeasure with the offer, describing it as  ‘an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerian workers.’

Earlier at the opening of the meeting, the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, appealed to members of the committee to push for a national minimum wage that is fair, realistic and also implementable.

Alhaji Aji who was speaking at the opening of the 4th plenary meeting of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage in Abuja, said the Committee has now reached the crucial stage of its assignment, and needs to approach the conclusive part of the assignment with some sense of honesty, patriotism, respect, and accommodation in the national interest.

It would be recalled that both the Nigeria Labour Congress  (NLC) and Trade Union Congress  (TUC), had demanded N615,000 as a new minimum wage for workers to cope with the many economic realities and high cost of living in Nigeria.

He urged Members of the Committee to  move away from emotional appeal and embrace rational appeal in the wake of too many competing demands from the citizenry.

According to him, “The build-up to today’s  meeting  in undertaking this national assignment has been friendly, cordial, educative and informative which gives me a safe comfort that we shall run the remaining part of this national duty with a sense of responsibility and love of country.

“I will crave the indulgence of each one of us and solicit a robust discussion with a greater understanding of each other’s position and put forward an acceptable recommendation for a new National Minimum Wage.”

A statement from Head of Press, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Emmanuel Njoku said the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee urged the Committee to focus their minds on doing the right thing even when such a decision is difficult and goes against our personal position. No matter how difficult the decisions are for everyone, there must be a decision. In this drive, the philosophy of country first and National Interest should be our guiding principle.

“We are all gathered here as leaders with massive and wide knowledge and experience on this matter and are representing the interests of our various constituencies in this assignment but today as far as all of us are concerned we only have one constituency which is Nigeria.” Alhaji Goni Aji said.

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