The tripartite committee turns in the report; the President makes a decision

On Monday, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation announced that the report from the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage has been submitted.

On January 30, 2024, President Bola Tinubu officially inaugurated the committee.

The committee was given the important responsibility of recommending a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers in both the public and private sectors.

According to a statement released on Monday, the Director of Information and Public Relations, Segun Imohiosen, mentioned that the report will be presented to the President once the organized labour leaders return from Switzerland.

The statement stated that the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage has completed its task and delivered the report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday, June 10, 2024.

Once the leadership of organized labour and representatives of the government and organized private sector return from the International Labour Organization Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, a formal presentation of the report will be made to Mr. President for appropriate action. The SGF expressed gratitude to the Chairman of the Committee, Alh. Bukar Goni Aji, and the members for their unwavering dedication and selflessness.

Following unsuccessful negotiations regarding a revised minimum wage for workers in the country, organized labour, represented by the NLC and TUC, initiated a nationwide strike last Monday to advocate for a new wage and the reversal of the electricity tariff hike.

The labour unions expressed concern that the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of an average Nigerian worker. They emphasized the importance of the government offering workers a wage that aligns with the current inflationary pressures and is economically realistic.

Nevertheless, the labour leadership decided to temporarily halt the strike for five days. This decision was made following the signing of a commitment with the Federal Government, which aimed to restart negotiations and establish a new minimum wage within a week.

The strike was called off after a lengthy meeting between the labour leadership and the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday night.

To expedite the negotiations, the President issued a directive to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, last Tuesday, requesting that he provide the cost implications for a new minimum wage within a two-day timeframe.

Tinubu instructed government representatives to collaborate with the organized private sector and sub-nationals to attain a new, affordable wage award for Nigerians.

On Thursday, the finance minister discussed the financial impact of implementing a new national minimum wage with Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, accompanied by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu.

Before the directive, the minister characterized the proposal put forth by organized labour as “unaffordable.”

In addition, the 36 state governors expressed their belief that the labour union’s demand was not feasible in the long run.

Unfortunately, on Friday, June 7, 2024, labour and the government were unable to agree. Despite the decrease in labour’s demand from ₦494,000 to ₦250,000, the government slightly increased its initial offer of ₦60,000 by ₦2,000, resulting in a final offer of ₦62,000 for the workers.

The reports from both sides have been submitted to the President, who is anticipated to make a decision and forward an executive bill to the National Assembly for the passage of a new minimum wage bill. Once approved, the President will proceed to sign it into law.