FG Meets on Proposals for New Minimum Wage Today

•May peg demand at N150,000 – N200,000 

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•NAAT demands N350,000 instead

The federal government has scheduled a meeting today at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to consider proposals put forth by organized labour regarding a new minimum wage. The meeting will be attended solely by government representatives from the Tripartite committee on the new minimum wage.

In a letter dated April 24, signed by a Permanent Secretary in the SGF Office, it was stated that the purpose of the meeting is to deliberate and reach a consensus on the government’s position regarding the new minimum wage, which will be presented at the next meeting of the tripartite committee.

Previously, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the two major labour centers, had submitted separate proposals for the new minimum wage based on the prevailing economic conditions. They urged the government to agree to their demand for a living wage that would adequately sustain the average worker considering the rising cost of living.

Initially, the TUC proposed a figure of N447,000 per month, while the NLC later adjusted its stance and requested N794,000 per worker. However, in their most recent joint submission to the government, both unions compromised and proposed N615,000 as the new minimum wage, taking into account the economic challenges faced by the country.

During today’s meeting, the government representatives are expected to consider all positions, including those of the governors represented by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, in order to find a middle ground.

According to a source at the SGF office, it appears that the federal government may consider amounts ranging from N150,000 to N200,000 as a basis for further negotiations.

In a separate development, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), a university-based union, has recommended a new national minimum wage of N350,000 for workers in the country. This proposal aligns with the union’s efforts to address pressing concerns such as the non-payment of backlog salaries, which has adversely affected members’ financial stability and morale.

Addressing the 5th National Delegates Conference of the NAAT, the Minister of Education, Prof. Mamam Tahir, expressed the federal government’s commitment to resolving challenges in the education sector, including prioritizing the welfare of staff and students. He emphasized the significance of technology in the country’s development, stating that the association played a crucial role in a world driven by technology.

The NAAT leadership intends to employ proactive measures, such as engaging in dialogue with relevant authorities, taking lawful actions when necessary, and advocating for the prompt and fair resolution of outstanding salary arrears while prioritizing the welfare of its members.

As the meeting commences today, stakeholders anticipate a constructive discussion that will lead to a mutually agreeable new minimum wage for workers in Nigeria.


Source : Thisday Newspapers

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