… Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage Holds Daily Meetings

The organized labour movement may reduce its minimum wage demand to N100,000 as the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage embarks on a series of daily meetings this week to reach a consensus.

Sources within the labour movement revealed to The PUNCH on Tuesday that union leaders are prepared to lower their original demand from N494,000 to N100,000. This decision follows widespread criticism and controversy over their initial proposal, which many deemed excessive and impractical.

In a statement released on Saturday, Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, via his media aide Rabiu Ibrahim, emphasized the financial strain of the proposed minimum wage, projecting an annual cost of N9.5 trillion—a burden he labeled unsustainable for the nation’s economy.

Despite intervention attempts by the National Assembly leadership, labour commenced an indefinite strike on Monday, causing significant disruptions nationwide. The strike led to the closure of banks, airports, public schools, and courts, prompting the Federal Government to convene an emergency meeting to resolve the deadlock.

To facilitate progress in negotiations, union leaders announced a five-day suspension of the industrial action on Tuesday, following President Bola Tinubu’s agreement to implement a national minimum wage above N60,000. The tripartite committee committed to holding daily meetings until a new minimum wage is finalized.

Demonstrating his dedication to the negotiations, President Tinubu directed Finance Minister Wale Edun to present the cost implications of a new minimum wage within two days. This directive was issued during a meeting with the government negotiation team, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Also Read: NLC declares Nationwide Strike Over New Minimum Wage

A senior Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) official, speaking confidentially to The PUNCH, confirmed that the unions are likely to insist on a N100,000 minimum wage, although this revised demand has not yet been formally presented to the tripartite committee.

As negotiations continue, all eyes are on the daily meetings of the Tripartite Committee, which aim to reach a viable resolution that balances the needs of workers with the financial realities facing the nation.