Minimum Wage: Labour leaders table economic hardships faced by Nigerians before Tinubu

mcebisco
4 Min Read

The meeting called by President Bola Tinubu to discuss the minimum wage issue ended in an inconclusive note on Thursday.

But it afforded parties to the discussions, notably, the President and the organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress. an opportunity to engage in a heart-to-heart talk.

The meeting which lasted for about one and half hours, mainly centred on xraying the issues that should necessitate an increase in the current minimum wage, highlighting the contemporary economic realities.

The meeting was, however, adjourned till next week to allow for more consultations from the government and labour side.

Emerging from the meeting, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, described the short meeting as fruitful as it was more or less a family discussion between a father and the children.

She said, “It was a fruitful meeting, father, children meeting. I think we are hopeful that very soon everything will be resolved. Of course, when father and children talk you know what it is. That’s just exactly what has happened. It took us almost an hour. I believe that it’s all for good”.

On his part, President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero revealed that the meeting will reconvene next week, insisting that both parties have not rescinded their previous positions on the amount.

Ajaero said, “in a real sense, it wasn’t a negotiation but a discussion and we have had that discussion. We agreed to look at the real terms and to reconvene in the next one week. So that’s where we are. Because we didn’t go down there to talk naira and kobo. At least there were some basic issues that we agreed on”.

Asked whether they deliberated on the N250,000 being demanded by Labour, the NLC President replied, “I remember mentioning that we didn’t go into Naria and Kobo discussion. Now the status quo in terms of the amount N250,000 and N62,000 remains until we finish this conversation”.

Corroborating Ajaero and Onyejeocha, the TUC President, Festus Osifo said they told the President in plain terms what the economic realities are at the moment.

He said they tried to make the President see reasons why the minimum wage has to be shored up, going by the hardships Nigerians were facing.

His words, “In the meeting we tried to put the issues on the table. Issues that are bothering and biting Nigerians today, are the economic difficulties and the value of naira, how it has also eroded, and how these have affected the prices of commodities and goods in the market.

“We tried to put these before Mr President because he is the President of the country and the bulk stops at his table.

“We have had all the conversations with all his agents, but today we said let us meet with the father of the country and have this conversation and make the argument that Labour always make, we made all the arguments, the economic analysis, macro, micro, fiscal and monetary issues. So we put everything forward and at the end, the president made his remark as the president and we all agreed “Let’s go back, we internalize it, we have some conversation and in one week’s time, we will come back and we will continue the meeting”.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply