Home News Labour Pegs Minimum Wage at N497,000, as FG, OPS Offer N57,000

Labour Pegs Minimum Wage at N497,000, as FG, OPS Offer N57,000

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By Uche Amunike

The second day of the ongoing tripartite negotiation on the new national minimum wage, which involves the federal government, organized labor and the organized private sector (OPS), has ended in another stalemate as Labour adjusted their offer from N500,000 to N497,000, while the federal government and the OPS  adjusted their offer from N54,000 to N57,000.

Note that none of the six governors who are members of the tripartite committee representing the six geopolitical zones attended the meeting yesterday. However, the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma was present, but left shortly after he arrived.

Recall that organized labour had earlier pegged their offer at N615,000 before they adjusted it to N500,000. Eventually, they made the minimal adjustment of N497,000, while the OPS increased theirs to N57,000.

The government negotiating team, were initially adamant, but had to take a short break to consult. It was after the short break that they increased their offer to match the OPS’ offer.

According to a news source, the minimum wage offered by both the government and the OPS was rejected promptly by labour, saying that they were not ready to negotiate.

Hear him: ‘Government has agreed that NLC is using evidence-based presentation. But they argue that eight states are not paying or not fully implementing the 2019 minimum wage.’

‘Government is talking of non-availability of funds. They are also talking about the inability of the private sector to pay.’

He further stated: ‘Labour has been requested to shift ground in response to the government’s. We complied and came down to N500, 000.’

‘Imo State governor has stepped in. He is not a member of the committee but it is good that there is at least a governor, as the six governors in the committee have been regularly absent.’

According to one of the label leaders, the government is not showing signs that they are ready for negotiation, or even prepared to negotiate with them. He explained that it was an insult for the government to say that there is no money, maintaining that it was the same government that removed petrol subsidy and floated the national currency. His words: ‘Government cannot be telling us that there is no money; this is an insult. We did not remove subsidies or float the national currency. The government created this problem. Since the removal of the petrol subsidy and floating of the naira, has the government shown proof that the country has no money, no?’

‘We are aware that the government gave members of the National Assembly no less than N160 million each to buy cars, the same government has released N90 billion to subsidize hajj operations.’

‘The government has renovated the Senate chambers, and the vice president’s office, and it is buying luxury buses for Customs in millions of naira.’

‘They are also buying all manner of SUVs for government officers. Since the removal of subsidies, the government has been making life better for political elites who have been feeding fat on workers.’

The meeting was adjourned to Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

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