Atedo Peterside Criticizes Tinubu Government on Wasteful ₦90 billion Spending Amid Minimum Wage Stalemate

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Atedo Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, has condemned the government’s spending habits, labeling them a significant hurdle in the ongoing minimum wage negotiations with labor unions.

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Peterside highlighted the government’s “reckless” spending, which he believes has distorted perceptions of its financial stability. “The Nigerian minimum wage negotiations were destined to be unnecessarily difficult because the federal government poisoned the well for responsible negotiations by approving an irresponsible ₦90 billion for legislators and others, creating the false impression that they were awash in cash,” Peterside wrote on X.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) declared an indefinite strike after their demand for a ₦494,000 minimum wage was rejected by the federal government. The unions had set a deadline of May 31 for their request.

In a meeting held on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, government and private sector representatives proposed doubling the current minimum wage to ₦60,000 per month, countering the NLC and TUC’s demands. However, the labor unions walked out to conduct further consultations before reaffirming their demand.

The government criticized the linkage of wage negotiations to electricity tariff hikes, arguing that the proposed ₦60,000 wage aims to prevent further job losses amid ongoing business closures and economic challenges, deeming it unfair to the negotiating parties.

Negotiations are set to resume with a meeting scheduled for Friday, June 31, 2024.

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