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We Did Not See The Minimum Wage Figure Submitted To Tinubu, Won’t Sign What We Are Not Comfortable With – NLC, TUC

 

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Thursday, declared that they did not append their signatures on the new minimum wage report submitted to President Bola Tinubu.

The labour leaders also said it is expected that President Tinubu would consult with them and other stakeholders before transmitting the new minimum wage bill to the National Assembly for consideration.

The Presidents of NLC and TUC, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, said this on the sideline of the ongoing International Labour Conference organised by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Both Ajaero and Osifo also denied having any knowledge of the figure proposed as the new minimum wage in the report submitted to the President but vowed to ensure Nigerian workers get the best possible offer.

Naija News recalls last Friday, both the Federal Government and Organized Private Sector (OPS) agreed on N62,000 as a new minimum wage while Labour insisted on N250,000.

Speaking on Thursday, however, at a joint press briefing, Ajaero said that labour expected the President to invite tripartite bodies to a meeting where the ability to pay will be discussed before arriving at a final figure.

He said: “We do not expect the President to present a final figure to the National Assembly without consulting with organised labour, employers, and state governors. Everyone will still come together to discuss before transmission to the National Assembly.

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Moreover, we have not seen the content of what has been submitted to the President. We will insist on seeing the content and appending our signatures to every page. We will not append our signatures to any page we are not comfortable with.

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As representatives here, we cannot specify the exact amount until we consult, review the offers, and determine what is fair for Nigerian workers,” Ajaero told journalists.

The TUC president added that even when the figure is transmitted to the National Assembly, labour will continue to lobby and push for a better deal in its bid to secure the best possible figure for Nigerian workers.

Osifo added that urgency must be involved in negotiating a new minimum wage because the economy is harsh and people are suffering already. He added that they would demand payment of arrears whenever the new minimum wage is approved.

The TUC President said: “It took about two years to conclude the last minimum wage negotiation. That duration was due to fewer challenges compared to what we face now. Food prices are high, the Naira is devalued, and energy costs have escalated.

Currently, urgency is paramount. We don’t have the luxury of time. Negotiations began in January this year, and we are already discussing sending a bill to the National Assembly for anew minimum wage law.

Since April 18, 2024, Nigeria has lacked a minimum wage law. However, I assure Nigerians that labour will demand arrears payment, regardless of when the new law takes effect.”

 

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