President Tinubu to Consult Governors and Private Sector on New National Minimum Wage


ABUJA — President Bola Tinubu announced on Wednesday that he will consult with the 36 state governors and members of the organized private sector (OPS) before submitting an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to establish a new national minimum wage.

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Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this during a briefing with State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Tinubu at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister revealed that a memo on the new minimum wage report was presented to the council but was postponed to allow for broader consultations with governors and the private sector. Idris emphasized that the President aims to have an informed position before proposing a figure for the national minimum wage.

In April, the Kaduna State House of Assembly initiated a probe into former Governor Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai’s tenure, focusing on loans, financial transactions, and contractual liabilities. This investigation led to allegations of money laundering and other financial infractions against El-Rufai, who has since filed a fundamental rights suit at the Federal High Court in Kaduna, arguing that he was not given a fair hearing by the House Committee.

At the end of the tripartite committee meeting on the new national minimum wage, the government team and OPS proposed N62,000, up from the current N30,000. However, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) demanded a living wage of N250,000. NLC President Joe Ajaero expressed expectations for the President to reach out to the tripartite committee members to harmonize the figure.

Minister Idris clarified, “The Federal Executive Council deliberated on the report of the Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage. Because this issue involves the federal, state, and local governments, as well as the organized private sector and labor, the memo was stepped down to enable Mr. President to consult further with the state governors and the private sector.”

Reacting to the President’s decision, the NLC’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, asserted that the era of paying slave wages is over. He emphasized that Nigerian workers should not be treated as slaves and that tripartism, involving the government, employers, and workers, should be the standard practice.

In contrast, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale Oyerinde, warned that approving a new national minimum wage above N62,000 could lead to crises and job losses. Oyerinde highlighted that the N62,000 figure was already a painful concession and was based on certain conditions, including the suspension of new electricity tariffs and the introduction of new taxes.

He explained that setting a minimum wage beyond what the private sector can afford would result in non-compliance and increase the number of disputes brought before the National Industrial Court. Oyerinde also cautioned that higher wages could drive businesses out of the country, exacerbating unemployment and insecurity. He stressed that the ability to pay should remain a fundamental consideration in setting the national minimum wage.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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