FG Targets 62 000 While Governors Target 57 000 As New Minimum Wage

The federal government may find itself at odds with governors and the private sector over agreeing to a minimum wage surpassing N60,000. As per investigations by Saturday, while the federal government might be inclined to accept N65,000 as the new minimum wage, governors and the organized private sector oppose paying anything beyond N60,000, arguing that figures exceeding N57,000 may not be sustainable. Insiders reveal that governors fear accepting a minimum wage higher than N57,000 would leave states with insufficient funds for development projects, as a substantial portion of resources would go towards workers' wages. Despite ongoing negotiations, the impasse persists.

Organized Labour, represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, rejected the federal government's offer of N60,000 as the new minimum wage. Shifting from their previous stance of N497,000, they now stand at N494,000.

A key member of the Tripartite Committee disclosed that the federal government and the Organized Private Sector proposed a monthly minimum wage of N60,000, up from their earlier proposal of N57,000. Previous offers of N48,000 and N54,000 were also rebuffed by Organized Labour.

Meetings held thus far have failed to yield agreement on the new minimum wage. Organized Labour initially proposed N615,000 but revised it down to N497,000 and subsequently to N494,000. The deadlock persists amid concerns that the current N30,000 minimum wage fails to adequately support Nigerian workers' well-being.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero, criticized the government's proposals as inadequate, stating that the current wage of N30,000 fails to sustain workers' livelihoods. A nationwide strike was launched in response to the government's failure to meet demands, disrupting economic activities across the country. Following negotiations, an agreement was reached to raise the minimum wage to above N60,000, with further discussions scheduled.

Governors criticized the federal government for succumbing to labor pressure without considering the feasibility of paying wages exceeding N60,000. A governor from the south expressed concern over the financial burden of paying civil servants, highlighting the disparity between workers' wages and the broader population.

The Organized Private Sector also voiced discontent, feeling sidelined in the negotiations. Despite opposition from governors, local governments, and the private sector, the federal government remains committed to a minimum wage higher than N60,000, citing the president's desire for a swift resolution.

Documents from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum reveal the financial challenges faced by states, casting doubt on their ability to afford wages exceeding N57,000. Some states risk allocating their entire budgets to salaries, leaving little for development projects.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum issued a statement cautioning against adopting a minimum wage of N60,000, citing concerns about sustainability and resource allocation. The forum urged all parties to consider socioeconomic factors and reach a realistic agreement.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State expressed optimism about reaching a consensus on the new minimum wage, following lengthy deliberations by the Tripartite Committee.

Meanwhile, the NLC criticized the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, for labeling the strike as "treasonable felony and economic sabotage," arguing that such statements deflect from the real economic challenges faced by workers.

No comments