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Minimum Wage Negotiations Deadlocked as Government and Labour Fail to Reach Consensus

The talks for a new minimum wage have reached an impasse, as the Federal Government and organised labour fail to find common ground. President Bola Tinubu disclosed this during the International Workers’ Day celebration in Abuja, acknowledging the challenges in reaching an agreement.

Mr Bayo Onanuga, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, criticized workers’ insistence on a N615,000 minimum wage, emphasizing the lack of consensus on the proposed amount.

Despite the deadlock, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, defended the workers’ demand, arguing against any wage that would lead to impoverishment.

The tripartite committee, formed by the President in January to review the existing N30,000 minimum wage, faced difficulty in reconciling differing proposals. While labour unions pushed for N615,000, the government and private sector proposed a lower range between N60,000 and N70,000, leading to a stalemate.

President Tinubu assured workers of resolving the issue soon, reiterating the government’s commitment to a fair living wage and urging for a mutually beneficial agreement.

Responding to the President’s remarks, the Vice President of the TUC, Mr Tommy Etim, stressed the ongoing negotiations and the need for consensus among all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, labour unions also called for an end to excessive government borrowing and criticized policies impacting businesses and the economy, advocating for transparency, accountability, and strong leadership to address economic challenges.

On the energy crisis, labour leaders expressed concerns about mismanagement in the power sector and demanded clarity on tariffs, subsidies, and refinery agreements, emphasizing the need for equitable access to energy and economic prosperity for all Nigerians.

While negotiations remain deadlocked, both the government and organised labour are committed to finding a solution that addresses workers’ welfare and economic challenges facing the nation.

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