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Minimum wage talks end today, Labour awaits Tinubu’s no

The new minimum wage talks between the Federal Government and Organised Labour  are expected to end on Monday (today) as the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress leaders await President Bola Tinubu’s decision on their N250,000 offer.

The labour leaders had given a Monday deadline for the conclusion of talks on the new minimum wage.

Last Friday, the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage concluded its meetings where the Federal Government and the Organized Private Sector agreed on N62,000 while Labour demanded N250,000.

However, the Nigeria Governors Forum in a statement said any minimum wage higher than N60,000 was not sustainable.

Speaking with our correspondents on Sunday, labour leaders noted that the parties were waiting for the President to decide on the proposals presented by the tripartite committee.

The labour leaders, who did not want to be quoted for security reasons, said the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and other top union officials had left the country to participate in a labour conference organised by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

The PUNCH was informed that the labour leaders would hold their National Executive Council meeting where a decision on the strike would be taken on their return from Geneva, based on the feedback from the president.

“We have submitted the report to the president and we are waiting for him to make his decision. That is the most important thing and that is what we are all waiting for.

“As it stands some of us are on the way to Geneva for the ILO conference. Some of us are going today (Sunday), some have gone already while others w“Before we can even hold a NEC meeting, we must come back from Geneva first. Also, we are trying to be careful so the government won’t say Labour is inciting citizens against the government. Also, you know they are in charge of the military so we are trying to be careful about that. This is why we are waiting,” a top NLC official said.

When asked about Monday’s ultimatum, another source within the NLC said, “Well, we have sent a report to the committee and we are expecting the president to act on it.

“We should hold a National Executive Council meeting regarding the ultimatum when we return from Geneva. It is very important for us to be there but right now, we are patiently waiting for the decision of Mr President.”

Organised Labour, comprising the NLC and TUC, embarked on a two–day nationwide strike last Monday and Tuesday to demand a new minimum wage for workers and the reversal of the electricity tariff hike.

However, the labour leadership suspended the strike for five days after signing a commitment with the Federal Government to resume negotiations and come up with a new minimum wage within a week.

The suspension of the strike followed a six-hour meeting between the leadership of labour and the National Assembly in Abuja, on Monday night.

To fast-track the talks, the President on Tuesday directed the finance minister, Wale Edun, to present the cost implications for a new minimum wage within two days.

Tinubu also directed the government representatives to work collectively with the organised private sector and the sub-nationals to achieve a new affordable wage award for Nigerians.

The finance minister presented the cost implications of implementing a new national minimum wage to Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, alongside the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, on Thursday.

The president was said to be reviewing the proposal, after which he would make an official announcement.

Sourcepunch

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