• Thursday, July 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tinubu to meet with labour leaders Thursday over new minimum wage

Labour unions

President Bola Tinubu is set to meet with representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja on Thursday to further discussions on establishing a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

According to a source from the labour sector, the meeting will take place at the Aso Villa, where the president will consider the ₦62,000 proposal put forth by the government and private sector, alongside the ₦250,000 demand from the Organised Labour.

This meeting follows Tinubu’s Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, where he announced that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage would soon be submitted to the National Assembly.

On June 25, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by the president, deferred deliberations on the minimum wage memo to allow for further engagement with stakeholders.

Subsequently, on June 27, Tinubu and Vice President Kassim Shettima met with governors and ministers during the 141st National Economic Council (NEC) meeting to discuss the new minimum wage.

The Minimum Wage Act of 2019, which set the minimum wage at ₦30,000, expired in April 2024. Tinubu established a Tripartite Committee in January to negotiate a new wage, comprising representatives from Organised Labour, federal and state governments, and the Organised Private Sector. However, the committee has struggled to reach a consensus.

In response to the delay, labour unions declared an indefinite strike on June 3, 2024, causing disruptions across various sectors.

The unions argue that the current ₦30,000 minimum wage is insufficient given current economic conditions, including inflation and recent policy changes such as the removal of petrol subsidies and the unification of forex windows.

Labour unions relaxed their strike on June 4, 2024, after assurances from Tinubu about a wage increase.

Despite ongoing negotiations, both sides have yet to reach an agreement. The labour unions have reduced their demand to ₦250,000, while the government has increased its offer to ₦62,000.

The reports from both sides have been submitted to the president, who is expected to make a decision and forward an executive bill to the National Assembly for the enactment of a new minimum wage law.