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FEC steps down minimum wage memo as Tinubu plans wider consultations

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The federal government, on Tuesday, said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) stepped down the minimum wage memo to allow President Bola Tinubu to consult more before coming up with a new minimum wage.

Idris Mohammed, minister of information and national orientation, while fielding questions from State House journalists after the FEC meeting presided over by President Tinubu, disclosed that the president has chosen to engage in wider consultations before coming up with a figure that will be acceptable to all parties.

According to him, “The President will consult further with the 36 state governors and members of the organised private sector before arriving at the figure that will be submitted to the National Assembly in the form of executive bill as the new national minimum wage.”

Read also: Debunking Economic Myths: New minimum wage doesn’t always translate to poverty reduction

The minister said that a memo on the report of the new minimum wage was presented to the council but it was stepped down because it is a national matter that has to do with the governors and the organised private sector.

The minister further said that it is after wider consultations with the relevant stakeholders that the president, with informed knowledge, would then forward a figure that would be the national minimum wage.

Recall that at the end of the Tripartite Committee meeting on new national minimum wage, the government’s team and the organised private sector had offered N62,000 from the current N30,000 but the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), had demanded N250,000 living wage.

The president’s decision is coming on the heels of the statement by Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC’s statement that the organised labour had expected the president to reach out to the members of the Tripartite Committee to harmonise the figure.

According to the Minister, “I want to inform Nigerians here that the Federal Executive Council deliberated on that (report of the Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage) and the decision is that because the new national minimum wage is not just that of the federal government, it is an issue that involves the federal government, the state governments, local governments, and the organized private sector and of course, including the organized Labour.

“That memo was stepped down to enable Mr. President to consult further, especially with the state governors and the organized private sector, before he makes a presentation to the National Assembly, before an executive bill is presented to the National Assembly.

“So, I want to state that on the new national minimum wage, Mr. President is going to consult further so that he can have an informed position because the new national minimum wage, like I said, is not just an issue of the federal government.

“It affects the state governments, it affects the local governments, it also affects the organized private sector, and that is why it is called national minimum wage. It’s not just an affair of the federal government.”