Minimum wage: Presidency disowns N105,000 template, as stakeholders task FG, Labour on compromise

By Fatima Muraina & Jubril Bada

As Nigerian workers eagerly await the national minimum wage, the presidency has disowned the news making the rounds that it has finally settled for N105,000 as new minimum wage

This followed media reports  that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, presented a new minimum wage of N105,000 template to President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday evening.

But in a swift reaction, the presidency disowned the media hype.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this on his X account on Thursday.

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.”

The President had given a marching order to his Finance Minister, Wale Edun, to work out the cost implications of an affordable, sustainable and realistic new minimum wage, following the recent strike by labour unions, which began on Monday after their meeting with the National Assembly leadership failed to produce a satisfactory outcome.

The strike disrupted economic activities nationwide, leading to the closure of international airports, schools, courts, banks, and hospitals.

Members of the organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress , NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, on Tuesday, suspended their strike for five days.

Meanwhile, as the Federal Government and the organised labour continue to meet to finalise new Minimum wage for workers in the country, some opinion leaders have called on both parties to reach amicable solution within the time frame to avert future strike.

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They called for sincerity of purpose on the parties involved and ensure a win-win situation.

They particularly called on President Bola Tinúbu to restructure the country, reduce the number of political appointees as well as review the remuneration of political office holders and make it tally with normal civil service salary to be able to meet the economic needs of the country.

Those who spoke with The Hope in separate interviews on Thursday included the Chairman of  Bible Society of Nigeria, Rev’d. Dr. John Oladapo, the Chief  Imam of Police Officers Mess Mosque, Akure, Alhaji Taofiq  Akintola,  an economist, Fessy Olabode, a former State President of Manufactures Association of Nigerian (MAN) who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Denki Wires and Cables, Emmanuel Adewunmi and a political analyst, Mr. Henry Olonimoyo.

According to them, apart from paying workers a living wage, the Federal Government should also put other economic measures in place to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal, including introducing price control and opening the borders.

Rev’d Oladapo said: “labour is not asking for too much. Let the Federal Government reduce political office holders” packages. Let there be reduction in the cost of governance. We need to review the cost of governance. Our economy is not buoyant enough. The political appointees, Senators, Rep members and others are collecting money in millions and you are negotiating with workers who are the engine room, with small amount as minimum wage.”

Also, Akintola noted that: “Government knows its own capacity as the labour also knows the capacity of the government. Labour should not go too far from what government can afford and government should not take labour for granted in order to avoid deceiving masses.”

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” If labour is asking for N200,000 it is not too much since we know the situation of things in the market. Foods are expensive, transportation is on the side, so labour is not asking too much.”

Adewunmi charged government to work more on the jumbo pay of political office holders which he said is not making the economy grow, saying “What is the productivity of senators compared with the productivity of other people. They should consider us.”

He equally urged labour leaders to always consider other people within the country when demanding for salary increment,.saying the private entrepreneurs may not be able to pay and will result to mass retrenchment, thereby increasing the unemployment rate in the country.

On his part, Olabode noted that the glamour for minimum wage increment was not the solution to the economic crises but that labour should  agitate that the ‘jumbo pay’ for political office holders should be reduced drastically to the bearest minimal while ensuring that government takes drastic step on price control measure.

A political analyst, Olonimoyo, said, 

“From my own opinion, if minimum wage is N100,000 and above across board, how many state governments or private sectors can pay their employees. What will happen to service and goods if this happens. They must take it easy.

Minimum wage: Presidency disowns N105,000 template, as stakeholders task FG, Labour on compromise

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