FG Offers ₦62,000 As New Minimum Wage, Labour Demands ₦250,000

The recommendations will be forwarded to President Tinubu, who is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha meets with the NLC President, Joe Ajaero in Abuja on February 13, 2024. Credit: X/@nkeiruka_reps


Following several hours of meetings on Friday, the Federal Government and the organised private sector have increased their offer for the new minimum wage to ₦62,000 from the earlier ₦60,000.

However, the organised labour is proposing ₦250,000, which is a shift from its earlier ₦494,000.

This brings to an end the deliberations on the new minimum wage by the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government after several months.

The recommendations will be forwarded to President Tinubu, who is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

READ ALSO: We Have Reached Near Consensus On Minimum Wage – Uzodimma

With the work of the tripartite committee, which was constituted in January this year, coming to an end, the ball now shifts to the table of President Tinubu and subsequently that of the National Assembly.

Though both labour, the organised private sector, and the Federal Government had agreed that the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 was no longer sustainable with the present economic reality of the country, agreeing a figure for the new minimum wage had for long proved difficult.

While the government and the organised private sector viewed labour’s proposed ₦494,000 as over the roof, labour felt the offer of ₦60,000 was not considerate.

At the expiration of an ultimatum issued by labour on May 31, the unions embarked on a strike on June 3, shutting down businesses across the nation.

The action was, however, suspended on Tuesday after the Federal Government promised to increase the minimum wage to an amount greater than ₦60,000 as they resumed negotiations.

The suspension of the strike gave room for the resumption of negotiations, which continued until this night.

We won’t accept meagre addition to ₦60,000

With the government and the organised private sector just adding ₦2,000 to the earlier ₦60,000 rejected by labour, it is left to be seen if the new proposal will be accepted after the workers earlier vowed not to accept any lean addition by the government.

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, stated this on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday, hours after the Organised Labour, comprising the TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), suspended its industrial action, which started at 12:01 am on Monday.

“At the meeting on Friday, they (the tripartite committee) said they would not add anything more to the ₦60,000 but in the meeting of yesterday (Monday), Mr President was able to commit to doing what is more than ₦60,000,” Osifo said.

When asked whether Labour would accept a few thousand naira additions to the last offer of the tripartite committee, the TUC boss said,  “No, we also told them that it’s not that we’d get to the table and you start adding ₦1, ₦2, ₦3,000 as you were doing and we got some good guarantees here and there that they would do something good.”

We can’t pay

Meanwhile, the 36 state governors have said that the ₦60,000 minimum wage proposal by the federal government is not sustainable and cannot fly.

A statement by the Acting Director, Media Affairs and Public Relations, of the Forum, Mrs Halima  Ahmed, noted that if allowed to fly, many states will use all their monthly allocations from the federation account to pay workers’ salaries.

The governors appealed to members of the tripartite committee to agree on a minimum wage that would be fair and sustainable.