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Labour Issues Ultimatum to FG: Minimum Wage Decision Required by May 31

Minimum Wage Debacle
Minimum Wage Debacle

After the Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has reassured Nigerian workers that the new national minimum wage would take effect from May 1, 2024, despite ongoing negotiations by the Tripartite Committee On National wage,
in a decisive move aimed at advancing the rights and welfare of workers, organised labour has issued a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding the conclusion of minimum wage negotiations by May 31 or risk facing a nationwide industrial action. The resolute stance of labour comes amidst escalating concerns over the economic hardships faced by Nigerian workers, exacerbated by the lingering uncertainties surrounding the minimum wage issue.

President Bola Tinubu’s administration has responded to the growing clamour for improved wages by pledging to address the long-standing issue of minimum and living wage adjustments. With promises of concrete action to enhance the welfare of workers, the government aims to mitigate the challenges faced by the workforce and promote economic stability and social justice.

During the recent May Day celebrations at the Eagle Square in Abuja, labour leaders reiterated their steadfast demand for a minimum wage of N615,000, underscoring the urgent need to uplift workers’ standards of living. In addition to this demand, labour representatives presented an exhaustive 18-point agenda to the government, outlining key areas of concern and pressing issues affecting the workforce.

Central to labour’s demands is the call for a two-year lifespan for the new National Minimum Wage Act, with provisions for automatic adjustments triggered by inflation rates exceeding 7.5%. This strategic approach seeks to safeguard workers’ purchasing power and ensure that wage levels remain commensurate with the evolving economic landscape.

Labour leaders have also underscored the importance of robust monitoring mechanisms to enforce compliance with wage regulations, particularly among employers with five or more employees. The need for strict penalties for non-compliant state governments and private sector entities has been emphasized to deter exploitation and ensure fair treatment of workers.

In addition to wage-related concerns, labour representatives have voiced apprehensions over critical issues such as the energy crisis and escalating insecurity plaguing the nation. Calls for urgent action to address deficiencies in the power sector, enhance refinery capacity, and curb arbitrary tariff hikes reflect labour’s broader commitment to advocating for systemic reforms that benefit all Nigerians.

Labour’s unwavering stance against injustice and inequality extends beyond economic issues to encompass broader societal challenges, including insecurity and governance failures. By condemning the escalating violence and insecurity that threaten the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians, labour leaders underscore the need for responsible leadership and effective governance to restore peace and stability.

President Tinubu’s assurance of a new minimum wage and improved working conditions has been met with cautious optimism by workers across the country. While acknowledging the government’s pledges, labour remains vigilant, emphasizing the importance of concrete actions and tangible outcomes to address the longstanding grievances of workers.

Amidst the ongoing dialogue between labour and the government, political figures such as Peter Obi and Godswill Akpabio have expressed solidarity with Nigerian workers, recognizing their resilience and contributions to national development. Their voices add to the growing chorus of support for workers’ rights and aspirations for a fairer and more prosperous society.

As Nigeria commemorates International Labour Day, the spirited advocacy of organised labour serves as a poignant reminder of the collective strength and determination of workers to secure a better future for themselves and future generations. With the May 31 deadline looming large, the stage is set for a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s labour movement, with the potential to reshape the nation’s socio-economic landscape for years to come.

Minimum Wage Debacle

Minimum Wage Debacle


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