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Nigerian Government urges Labour Unions on continued dialogue over new Minimum Wage

Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Minister for Information and National Orientation

*Mohammed Idris, Minister for Information and National Orientation, appeals to the Organised Labour to continue along the path of negotiations, stating President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ‘firmly committed to doing what is right, reasonable and sustainable regarding these Minimum Wage

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the workers’ nationwide industrial action over a new National Minimum Wage began enters the second day Tuesday, June 4, 2024, the Federal Government has appealed to the Organised Labour to embrace continued discussions on the codent national issue.

ConsumerConnect reports Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Honourable Minister for Information and National Orientation, stated this Monday, June ,  in Abuja, FCT.

Idris had stated: “This is a heartfelt and deeply considered appeal to the Labour Unions to continue along the path of negotiations with the Federal and State Governments, under the auspices of the Tripartite Committee.

The Minister noted the Tripartite Committee has been established to fashion out a new, realistic minimum wage for the Nigerians.

“As Government, we are desirous of a peaceful outcome, and we will do everything to make this happen,” he stated.

The Minister equally recalled that the leadership of the National Assembly (NASA) Sunday, June 2, had met with the Labour Unions in Abuja.

According to him, the Federal Government again, Monday, offered another invitation to the Unions, so as “to meet with us and continue our discussions.”

On the significance of dialogue in resolving Labour matters, Idris stated: “We will continue to engage, and continue to make ourselves very available in the context of these negotiations on behalf of the Nigerian people.

“Let me make it clear that we are not opponents on this negotiating table.

“We are united by the fact that we want the best for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and for all 200 million citizens of the country.

“We have a responsibility to strike a measured and realistic balance, in this effort to arrive at a new minimum wage for Nigerians.”

On relevant facts about new Minimum Wage

Idris, in affirming some fundamental facts about a National Minimum Wage, said: “The Minimum Wage is not only for public sector workers.

“It will be binding on the private sector as well. This reality must be factored into the negotiations.”

He further stated: “As I have explained earlier, Labour’s current proposal of N494,000 is an increase of 1,547 percent on the existing wage, and translates into an annual wage bill of N9.5 trillion Naira for the Federal Government of Nigeria alone.

“This is apart from its cost implications for subnational governments and private sector employees.

“Such a wage bill would cripple the Nigerian economy, by leading to massive job losses especially in the private sector.”

The Minister also explained the National Consumer Credit Scheme and the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) are additional significant demonstrations of a determination to bring relief to the people of Nigeria.

“We want the Labour Unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of increased wages.

“It will also come as efforts to reduce the cost of living, and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians.”

He also said: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) is firmly committed to doing what is right, reasonable and sustainable regarding these minimum wage negotiations.

“We call on the Labour Unions to reciprocate this gesture in the interest of the nation.”

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