On New Minimum Wage, Tinubu Directs Edun to Come Up With Cost Implications in 48 Hours

* Wants committee, states, private sector to urgently work on wage award 

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday directed the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, to, within two days, come up with the cost implications of an affordable, sustainable and realistic new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The president gave the marching orders at a closed-door meeting with the government negotiation team on the new minimum wage led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, at the State House, Abuja. 

The Information and National Orientation Minister, Mohammed Idris, made the president’s order known while speaking to newsmen after the closed-door meeting. 

Other members of the team, which has been meeting with the organized labour, who were at Tuesday’s meeting with President Tinubu, included the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Labour; Information, as well as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). 

Idris said that the president directed the minister of finance to present the new minimum wage figures that will form the basis of negotiation with the organised labour.

According to the information minister, “The president has just summoned a meeting of all those who negotiated on behalf of the Federal Government led by the secretary to the government of the federation. The minister of finance was there, the minister of budget and national planning, the minister of information,the minister of labour and the NNPCL GMD.

“We were all there to look at all issues and the president has directed the minister of finance to do the numbers and get back to him between today and tomorrow so that we can have figures ready for negotiation with labour.”

Idris assured Nigerians of the president’s readiness to accept the committee’s resolutions with the labour representatives in line with his commitment to the welfare of Nigerians.

He explained that the Federal Government is keen to ensure a balance of its commitments with the economic realities of the country. 

His words: “And let me say that the president is determined to go with what the committee has said and he’s also looking at the welfare of Nigerians.

“Government is not against or an opponent of labour discussions. Government is not an opponent of wage increase but what is there is that government is always there to ensure that there is a balance between what government pronouncement is and what the realities are on ground. 

“And therefore, we will work assiduously to ensure that whatever promises government make are promises that will be kept. That is the idea of this meeting.”

The minister further said President Tinubu has directed government representatives at the tripartite committee meeting to work with the organised private sector and the sub-nationals to work together to achieve a new affordable and sustainable wage award for Nigerians.

“The president has given marching orders that all those who have negotiated on behalf of the Federal Government and all those who are representatives of organised private sectors, the sub nationals, to come together to have a new wage award that is affordable, sustainable and that is also realistic for Nigerians.

“The wage award is not just that of the Federal Government like I mentioned earlier, the sub nationals are involved, the organised private sector is involved; it was labour that stepped out during that procedure. Now we have come back to the negotiation table,” he said.

Idris assured Nigerians that all parties to the negotiation of the new minimum wage will work together with the organised labour to present a new minimum wage for Nigerians in one week.

“All of us will work together assiduously within the next one week to ensure that we have a new wage for Nigeria that is acceptable, sustainable and also realistic,” he further stressed.

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