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Presidency denies N105,000 pay as Labour awaits Tinubu’s offer

The Presidency on Thursday denied reports that the Federal Government was proposing N105,000 as the new minimum wage.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, described the report as false.

The report followed the presentation of the cost implications of implementing a new national minimum wage to President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, submitted the template to the President alongside the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu.

Edun confirmed submitting the template to the President and reassured that  ‘there is no cause for alarm’ when questioned about the figure.

Tinubu was said to be currently reviewing the proposal, and an official announcement is expected soon.

However, the development triggered speculations that the finance minister proposed N105,000 in the new minimum wage template.

Onanuga punctured the claim in a post on his X account.

The presidential aide wrote, “The Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, has not proposed N105,000 minimum wage. The contrary story being disseminated is false.”

Meanwhile, the meeting of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage was again adjourned till Friday (today) due to the unavailability of the cost template on the new minimum wage.

This was the second time in 24 hours that the committee session had been postponed.

On Wednesday, the Federal Government and Organised Labour adjourned the minimum wage talks till Thursday in anticipation of the template.

On Tuesday, Tinubu directed the finance minister to present the cost implications for a new minimum wage within two days.

The President gave the order at a meeting with the government negotiation team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Though the finance minister submitted the template to the President earlier on Thursday, the proposal was not presented to the Federal Government and Labour representatives, who met for over two hours and adjourned their session until today.

Senior labour movement members told The PUNCH on Thursday that the committee meeting did not record any meaningful progress because the president’s offer was not presented to the parties.

A member of the committee who is also a leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress said though the union was aware that a proposal had been submitted to the President, it was becoming jittery as its ultimatum expires on Monday.

Speaking anonymously because the committee deliberation was confidential, the labour leader stated, “We have adjourned. Nothing has been presented. We were hearing rumours that something had been given to the President.

“We are getting jittery now because we have only one week, which expires on Monday. We are getting jittery, but this country is in distress. Looking at the economic situation now, it is a problem. Let us see what they bring up tomorrow (today) by 4:00 pm.”

Following the slow pace of talks on the new minimum wage and the government’s failure to reverse the electricity tariff hike, Labour embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday, grounding economic activities nationwide.

Banks, airports, public schools and courts were shut, forcing the Federal Government to convene an emergency meeting to find a way out of the impasse.

Sourcepunch

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