July 16, 2024

Nigerian workers decide on potential strike as minimum wage report awaits presidential action

Organised labour has revealed plans to hold an emergency meeting over the next line of action as the national minimum wage tripartite committee submits a report to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Spokesperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Benson Upah, disclosed this to DAILY POST in an exclusive telephone interview on Monday.

According to him, the outcome of the meeting will determine whether organized labour will resume its strike action in the coming days.

“The appropriate organs of the two unions will meet, and once they do, whatever decision they make will be communicated to the public,” Upah said.

However, he did not disclose the specific date the meeting would be held.

Recall that after the minimum wage tripartite committee met on Monday, the federal government offered N62,000 as the minimum wage, while organized labour insisted on N250,000.

Part of the report includes N57,000 and N62,000 minimum wage proposals by state governors and the organized private sector, respectively.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) confirmed receiving the tripartite committee report on Monday.

This development has turned attention to President Tinubu, who is expected to act on the report and pass an executive bill on the minimum wage to the National Assembly ahead of June 12, Nigeria’s Democracy Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, NLC President Joe Ajaero, speaking on Monday at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, ruled out the resumption of the strike on Tuesday. He noted that organized labour is waiting for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s decision on the report submitted by the tripartite committee.

“We are waiting for the decision of the President. Our National Executive Council (NEC) will deliberate on the new figure when it is out,” he said.

Recall that organized labour suspended last Monday’s indefinite strike, which shut down the country’s economy for a week.

The federal government had previously offered N60,000 as the minimum wage, which organized labour rejected. The new minimum offer of N62,000 is only N2,000 more than the old offer. Ajaero noted that the difference between N62,000 and N250,000 (Labour’s proposed minimum wage) is a wide gulf.

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