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Continue On The Path Of Negotiations, FG Appeals To Labour

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government has appealed to labour unions to return to negotiations with the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who made the appeal in Abuja on Monday, said the government is desirous of a peaceful outcome and will do everything to make it happen.

Expressing the government’s readiness to arrive at an agreement with the labour, Idris highlighted National Assembly leadership’s meeting with the labour leadership on Sunday and another dialogue on Monday.

“We will continue to engage and continue to make ourselves very available in the context of these negotiations on behalf of the Nigerian people.

“Let me make it clear that we are not opponents on this negotiating table. We are united by the fact that we want the best for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all 200 million citizens of the country,” Idris stated.

He emphasised the need to strike a measured and realistic balance in the effort to arrive at a new minimum wage for Nigerians.

According to the minister, labour’s current proposal of N494,000 is an increase of 1,547 percent on the existing wage and translates into an annual wage bill of 9.5 trillion Naira for the Federal Government of Nigeria alone.

He said that apart from its cost implications for sub-nationals and the private sector, such a wage bill would cripple the Nigerian economy.

Idris pointed out that the National Consumer Credit Scheme and the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) are additional significant demonstrations of the government’s determination to bring relief to the people of Nigeria.

“We want the Labour Unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of increased wages.

“It will also come as an effort to reduce the cost of living, and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians,” the Minister added.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Monday, started a nationwide industrial action after months of failed discussions with the Federal Government to agree on a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers regarding the current economic realities.

The workers lamented that the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 can no longer cater to the well-being of an average Nigerian worker.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=96108

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