It Unrealistic” and “Unaffordable– Presidency Reacts to Labour’s Stance on N250,000 Minimum Wage


The country’s labour unions’ proposal for a minimum salary of N250,000 has been rejected by the presidency, which calls it “unrealistic” and “unaffordable.”


According to Presidential Advisor Bayo Onanuga, this requirement cannot be met by the federal government or the private sector.


Onanuga pointed out that the governors had turned down even the first offer of N60,000, therefore labour’s demands were unachievable.


Speaking on a live radio programme Crossfire on Nigeria Info 99.3 FM Lagos, Onanuga said: “The amount they’re still (demanding) is unrealistic.


“It cannot be paid by the Federal Government.


“It cannot be paid by the private sector. All of them will shut down. “And the governors have said they cannot pay the N60,000 that the private sector and the Federal Government were offering before.


“That’s where we are today. I think that labour should reconsider its position.”


He added: “If you look at the budget this year – N28 trillion. And you are paying N5 trillion on wages alone; what are you going to spend on the other things that the government does?”


The labour demand is the result of weeks of fruitless negotiations on a new minimum wage.


On June 3, organised labour announced an ongoing strike that closed down vital services and crippled companies across Nigeria.


The labour unions use the withdrawal of petrol subsidies and the unification of currencies as evidence for their claim that the present N30,000 minimum wage is insufficient to support workers’ well-being.


They contended that to keep up with modern economic needs, the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, which was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari, has to be revisited every five years.


As a result, President Bola Tinubu established a tripartite committee in January 2024 to negotiate a new minimum wage.


Labour’s demand was N615,000 at first, then N494,000, and finally N250,000. Conversely, workers refused offers of N48,000, N54,000, N57,000, and N60,000 from the public and commercial sectors.


Following a week-long suspension of the walkout, labour unions and the government reopened negotiations, with the President giving the Minister of Finance instructions to submit a model for a new minimum wage.


However, despite labor’s demand of N250,000 and the government’s offer of N62,000, the parties were unable to come to an agreement once more.


In order to approve a new minimum wage bill, the President is now expected to decide and transmit an executive bill to the National Assembly.

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