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Tripartite Committee Gives Fresh Update on Minimum Wage, Lists Benefits Workers Will Enjoy

The Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage has appealed to organised labour to reconsider its demand for a minimum wage of N250,000 per month.

Committee Chairman, Alhaji Goni Aji, made the appeal on Sunday in Abuja, citing economic considerations and non-monetary incentives provided by the Federal Government.

According to Aji, the Federal Government has offered various incentives, including a N35,000 wage award for federal workers, N100 billion for gas-powered buses, and N125 billion conditional grant.

Others include financial inclusion for small and medium scale enterprises, N25,000 shared among 15 million households, and N185 billion palliatives loans to states.

Additionally, he said the Federal Government has released 42,000 metric tonnes of grains from strategic reserves and distributed 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to millers. Aji also cited a recent 25% and 35% salary increase for federal workers, 90% subsidy on health costs, and the commissioning of a light rail to relieve transportation costs.

The committee chairman urged labour unions to consider these incentives and accept the N62,000 offered by the Federal Government.

He also noted that the outcome of a new minimum wage should not trigger further massive job losses, as many businesses are already closing down.

On June 3, organized labour embarked on an indefinite strike, crippling businesses and essential services nationwide. The labour unions are seeking a minimum wage increase, arguing that the current N30,000 is inadequate due to the effects of petrol subsidy removal and forex unification.

In response, President Bola Tinubu established a tripartite committee in January 2024 to negotiate a new minimum wage. Labour initially demanded N615,000, later reducing their demand to N494,000 and then N250,000. However, the government and private sector offered N48,000, N54,000, N57,000, and N60,000, all of which were rejected by labour.

Following a brief suspension of the strike, talks resumed, but both sides failed to reach an agreement. Labour maintained their demand for N250,000, while the government offered N62,000.

The President is now expected to make a decision and submit an executive bill to the National Assembly to pass a new minimum wage bill.

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