National minimum wage: N48,000 FG offer ridiculous says Labour, walks out of meeting

The NLC and TUC had proposed that the Federal government should pay Nigerian workers N615,000 minimum wage, citing high cost of living as the yardstick for the proposal.

Minimum wage: N48,000 FG offer ridiculous says Labour, walks out of meeting

Minimum wage: n48,000 fg offer ridiculous says labour, walks out of meetingOrganised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have walked out of the the national minimum wage negotiations currently going on with the government and the Organised Private Sector.

Angered by the N48,000 proposal by the Federal Government as the national minimum wage, the labour unions described the offer as ridiculous.

According to Channels reports, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, explained that the government is not serious about negotiating with the Labour on the new minimum wage.

He explained that the FG does not have the necessary data to negotiate with Labour.

FACT CHECK: Has FG agreed on N155,000 minimum wage with labour unions?

Ajaero maintained that Government have till the end of the month to arrive at a decision, adding that Labour will take a decision at the expiration of the ultimatum.

The Trade Union Congress was represented at the meeting by the Deputy President, Mr. Tommy Okon.

A joint statement signed by Ajaero and Okon after the meeting read in part, “The Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 (forty-eight thousand Naira} as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.

“In contrast the Organised Private Sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of N54 ,000 (fifty-four thousand Naira) though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receives N78,000 (seventy-eight thousand Naira per month) as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed and prevailing standards further demonstrating the minimum wage unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.


“Furthermore, the Government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

“As representatives of Nigerian workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a wage proposal that would result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers who are already receiving N30,000 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) wage award, totaling N77,000 (seventyseven thousand Naira) only.

“Such a regressive step would undermine the economic well-being of workers and their families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage Fixing process.

The NLC and TUC had proposed that the Federal government should pay Nigerian workers N615,000 minimum wage, citing high cost of living as the yardstick for the proposal.


N615,000 Wage Proposal

On April 14, the organised Labour demanded N615,000 as the new minimum wage for workers to cope with the many economic realities and high cost of living in Nigeria.

The new wage of N615,000 monthly was reached after consultations between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), according to the NLC President, Joe Ajaero.

The labour unions said the current minimum wage of N30,000 can no longer cater for the wellbeing of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which will expire by April, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The Act is to be reviewed every five years to meet up with contemporary economic demands of workers.

NLC and the TUC have at various times called on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to hasten the upward review of wage awards.

Earlier in January, the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage with a mandate to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for the country.


FG’s N48,000 Minimum Wage Proposal Doesn’t Make Sense — TUC

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has condemned the N48,000 proposed by the Federal Government as the new minimum wage, saying that it does not make any sense.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, the TUC President, Festus Osifo, blasted the proposal and berated the government for not being serious in the negotiation with the workers.

According to Osifo, the least federal workers are already earning up to N77,000 and proposing N48,000 at the moment is “abysmal”.


“Before President Muhammadu Buhari left office, the last person in the federal ministry was actually earning N42,000.

“If you now factor in the wage award of N35,000 that was given, N42,000 plus N35,000 will give us N77,000, so as of today what the least federal government worker earns is N77,000.

“So, the question that we now ask is that if the least federal government worker is earning N77,000, why are you now coming to present N48,000? It does not just make any sense,” Osifo said.

The TUC leader challenged the Federal Government to come forward with data backing the N48,000 proposal and convince the union members on how that amount can take the average Nigerian worker home.

Earlier on Wednesday, the labour unions walked out of the ongoing minimum wage negotiations with the government and the Organised Private Sector following what the union leaders described as a ridiculous offer by the government.


Osifo said that at the meeting, the labour unions proposed a N615,000 minimum wage which they gave a breakdown of how it was arrived at. He said that the government on its part presented N48,000 with no breakdown of how it can cater for the needs of the Nigerian workers.

Failure to back the N48,000 proposal up with data shows unpreparedness on the part of the government which was why the union leaders walked out of the meeting, according to Osifo.

He said that the union members still maintain that all conversations around a new national minimum wage must be concluded by the end of May.

Embrace rational appeal, tripartite committee chairman urges members on minimum wage


Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Goni Aji, has urged members to be rational amid competing demands from workers on minimum wage.

Aji said this at the opening of the 4th plenary meeting of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage on Wednesday.

According to him, the committee has now reached the crucial stage of its assignment.

He urged them to approach the conclusive part of the assignment with some sense of honesty, patriotism, respect, and accommodation in the national interest.

“I crave the indulgence of each one of us and solicit a robust discussion to put forward an acceptable recommendation for a new National Minimum Wage.

“I urge the Committee to focus their minds on doing the right thing even when such a decision is difficult and goes against our personal position.

“We are all gathered here as leaders with massive and wide knowledge and experience on this matter and are representing the interests of our various constituencies in this assignment.

“But today, as far as all of us are concerned, we only have one constituency, which is Nigeria and national interest should be our guiding principle,” Aji said.

The chairman expressed optimism that the spirit of give and take earlier canvassed by President Bola Tinubu would overpower the Committee for the sake of our people and country.

“Therefore, we must muster the courage to take responsibility for our decisions based on available information, data, the state of the economy, our level of production, and the level of inflation.

“So that our recommendations for a new National Minimum Wage will be fair, realistic, affordable, and implementable.

“I urge members to speedily agree to a New Minimum Wage based on our knowledge, facts, figures, and data available so that the assignment will be concluded in the next few days,” Aji said.