Labour, Tripartite C’ttee chair trade words over minimum wage


The Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Bukar Goni Aji, has urged Labour to reconsider its demand for a higher minimum wage, citing prevailing economic conditions.


However, Labour has responded by accusing the Chairman of being unaware of the hardships faced by workers.


Aji listed various incentives, such as the N35,000 wage award for federal workers and N100 billion for gas-fuelled buses, as reasons for Labour to accept the government’s offer of N62,000.


However, Labour is demanding N250,000, citing a nationwide survey that reflects the economic realities faced by the average Nigerian family.


The cost of living has increased significantly, with prices of basic commodities skyrocketing and purchasing power severely eroded. Labour’s demand is based on current market prices, and they have urged the government to present a realistic offer that reflects the cost of living and the dignity of Nigerian workers.


The Tripartite Committee Chairman has also highlighted various palliatives and investments in food production, manufacturing, and education.


He said, “The committee agreed that where major and small businesses were closing down with the consequent loss of jobs, the outcome of a new minimum wage should be such that it would not trigger further massive job losses.”


However, NLC Chairman, Joe Ajaero, has expressed disappointment in the government’s offer, which appears disconnected from market realities.


“When we requested a breakdown of what constitutes the government’s offer, the response was not forthcoming. This lack of transparency suggests that the government is perhaps aware that its offer does not meet the basic economic needs of Nigerian workers, thereby undermining its credibility


“Perhaps, the government might be ashamed of the paltriness of the offer it was making to Nigerian workers, hence it was too heavy for them to mention,” he said.



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