Minimum Wage: Labour Awaits Tinubu’s Decision Before Next Action, Says Ajaero

THE President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero says the Organised Labour will await the decision of President Bola Tinubu on the proposals submitted to him by the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

Ajaero ruled out any industrial action till the President makes his stance known on the two proposals presented to him on the new minimum wage for workers in the country.

While Labour insisted on ₦250,000 as a feasible living wage for workers, the other side – the federal and state governments as well as the Organised Private Sector – proposed ₦62,000. The tripartite committee submitted the two proposals to the President on Monday through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume.

Hours after the submission of the reports containing the two proposals to the President, Ajaero said the organs of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) would decide the next line of action after the President’s nod on any of the two proposals.

The NLC chairman spoke in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Labour Conference.

Ajaero said, “Two reports have been sent to the President and then the NLC will wait for the next line of action based on how the President handles this matter.

“The NLC will not have its position forwarded to the President and go ahead to take certain actions. But when the President finally takes a decision on this, the National Executive Council will have a lot to discuss. Whatever direction they give, then we will carry on with it.”

Ajaero also took a swipe at the state governors under the umbrella body of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum for saying that N62,000 minimum wage proposal by the Federal Government was unsustainable.

Ajaero’s latest statement was a sharp contrast to the pronouncement of Labour that its organs would meet to decide on the resumption the industrial action relaxed last week.

Labour had said the one-week grace period given to the Federal Government last Tuesday, June 4, 2024, would expire by the midnight of Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Labour had said should the Federal Government and National Assembly fail to act on the demands of workers by today (Tuesday), the organs of the NLC and the TUC would meet to decide on the resumption of the nationwide industrial action relaxed last week.

Chris Onyeka, an Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who featured on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show on Monday, had said, “The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various fact of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires Tuesday. If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the Organised Labour will meet to decide on what next to do.

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