Labour Refutes Tinubu’s Claims of Minimum Wage Agreement

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Abuja, Nigeria — The Organised Labour has refuted President Bola Tinubu’s assertion that a new national minimum wage agreement had been reached, as stated in his nationwide Democracy Day address.

According to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), as of the conclusion of negotiations on June 7, no consensus had been achieved by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage. The committee had presented two differing figures: N250,000 proposed by labour and N62,000 suggested by the government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS), which were to be submitted to the President.

The Federal Government has called on labour to adopt a more realistic stance in their wage demands, emphasizing that the expected relief for Nigerians would not solely come from increased wages but also from other planned government initiatives.

Prince Adewale Adeyanju, Acting President of the NLC, responded to President Tinubu’s speech by stating: “The NLC attentively listened to the Democracy Day presidential address delivered by Senator Bola Tinubu, especially concerning the ongoing National Minimum Wage negotiations. While the President may have accurately recounted parts of our democratic journey’s history, it is evident that he has been misinformed regarding the outcome of the wage negotiation process.”

See Also: Labour Rejects Government’s Minimum Wage Offer

Adeyanju appreciated the President’s commitment to democratic ideals, which allowed the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiation Committee to operate without major disruptions. However, he expressed disappointment that the President did not use this occasion to harmonize the two figures in favor of workers and the masses, which would have been a meaningful Democracy Day gesture.

“The NLC would have expected that the advisers of the President would have told him that we neither reached any agreement with the Federal Government and the employers on the base figure for a National Minimum Wage nor on its other components. Our demand remains N250,000 and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position, which we consider a great concession by Nigerian workers during the tripartite negotiation process,” Adeyanju explained.

The NLC emphasized that no agreement had been reached and expressed surprise at the President’s statement. They believe the President may have been misled into thinking an agreement existed with the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Adeyanju stressed the importance of clarifying this misunderstanding to avoid confusion in ongoing discussions about the national minimum wage.

Adeyanju reaffirmed the NLC’s belief that the President would prepare an Executive Bill that accurately reflects the demands of Nigerian workers. He urged the President to demonstrate his commitment to lifting workers out of poverty by rejecting advice from those who aim to undermine this goal.

“President’s advisers did not tell him the truth that the leaders of the trade unions were intimidated and harassed. It is, therefore, important that Mr President understands that we were threatened severally by his operatives perhaps without his consent,” Adeyanju added.

He also highlighted the media propaganda and intimidation tactics used against trade unions, noting that armed soldiers had surrounded them during negotiations with the government. Despite these challenges, Adeyanju expressed confidence in the President’s democratic principles to favor Nigerian workers and the masses.

Adeyanju further noted that the NLC did not agree to a five-year duration for the Minimum Wage Act, although they acknowledged the President’s mention of this period. The NLC also proposed that inflation should be pegged to a level to ensure clarity in the minimum wage amount.

Source: VanguardNGR

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