Labour Denies Accord on Minimum Wage, Challenges President Tinubu’s Assertions

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has refuted claims made by President Bola Tinubu regarding an alleged agreement on a new national minimum wage.

In his Democracy Day speech, President Tinubu asserted that consensus had been reached between the Federal Government and organised labour on the contentious issue of the new minimum wage.

According to Tinubu, an executive bill would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly to formalise the purported agreement.

However, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, the acting President of the NLC, swiftly countered these assertions, stating that no agreement had been reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage when negotiations concluded on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Adeyanju clarified that two distinct figures had been proposed during negotiations – N250,000 from organised labour and N62,000 from the government and Organised Private Sector. These figures were expected to be submitted to the President.

The labour leader emphasized that any claims suggesting an agreement had been reached were inaccurate and would not be endorsed by the Labour movement.

“We would have expected the President’s advisers to clarify that no agreement had been reached with the federal government and employers regarding the base figure for a National Minimum Wage or its other components,” Adeyanju stated in a press release.

“Our position remains unchanged at N250,000, and we have not been presented with any compelling reasons to deviate from this stance, which we view as a significant concession by Nigerian workers during the negotiation process.”

“We are therefore taken aback by the President’s assertion of an agreement. It appears he may have been misinformed regarding the status of negotiations with the NLC and TUC. There was no such agreement, and it is imperative that we clarify this to the President, the Nigerian public, and other stakeholders to prevent any misunderstandings regarding the national minimum wage,” Adeyanju concluded.

The NLC’s response underscores the ongoing complexity of negotiations surrounding the national minimum wage and highlights the need for clarity and transparency in the process.