• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Tripartite Committee defends N60,000 minimum wage offer, lists incentives

Minimum wage Tripartite Committee

The Tripartite Committee has defended its proposal of N60,000 per month minimum wage to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), outlining various economic considerations and non-monetary incentives behind the offer.

During a meeting held on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, representatives from the government and organised private sector again proposed doubling the existing minimum wage to N60,000 per month, countering The NLC and TUC’s demand for a N494,000 minimum wage.

The labour unions, however, walked out of the meeting to conduct further consultations before reaffirming their demand.

Efforts to resume negotiations led to a meeting scheduled for Friday, June 31, 2024.

To bolster their case, the government highlighted a comprehensive package of incentives accompanying the proposed wage increase including:

A N35,000 wage award for all treasury-paid federal workers.; 100 billion naira allocated for procuring CNG-fuelled buses and conversion kits; 125 billion naira in conditional grants and financial inclusion support for MSMEs, Monthly payments of N25,000 to 15 million households for three months and 185 billion naira in loans to states as palliatives to cushion the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

The committee also listed among the incentives 200 billion naira to support agricultural land cultivation; N75 billion dedicated to strengthening the manufacturing sector;  N1 trillion naira allocated for student loans for higher education; Distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains from strategic reserves and the  Purchase and onward distribution of 60,000 metric tons of rice.

The committee also pointed to a recent salary increases of 25-35% for federal workers; a 90% subsidy on health costs for federal civil servants registered with NHIS;  the commissioning of a light rail system in Abuja, with similar initiatives underway in Lagos and the approval for civil servants to engage in agriculture and ICT services for additional income as incentives.

They argued that the proposed N60,000 wage is designed to prevent further job losses, especially in light of ongoing business closures and economic challenges.

The 37-man committee also criticised the linking of the wage negotiations to electricity tariff hikes, deeming it unfair to the negotiating parties.

The deadlock has heightened tensions as the NLC and the TUC declared indefinite strike from Monday, June 3, 2024 after the government failed to meet the May 31 deadline given by the organised labour.