TUC backpedals on N250,000 minimum wage demand

Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Festus Osifo stated on Friday that the union’s demand for a N250,000 minimum wage is not inflexible and that they are open to discussions.

While the federal government has yet to respond, the Senate has committed to promptly reviewing and passing President Bola Tinubu’s forthcoming minimum wage bill.

Last week, acting President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Prince Adewale Adeyanju, emphasized that the NLC’s demand remains N250,000, viewing it as a significant concession during negotiations.

In his first response to the government and Organized Private Sector’s (OPS) agreement on N62,000 as the minimum wage, Osifo previously noted that given the current economic challenges, N250,000 was deemed appropriate.

Speaking on Channels Television’s “The Morning Brief” yesterday, Osifo clarified that the proposed figure is not rigid. “There is always room for adjustments,” he said, explaining that prior industrial actions were partly due to the government’s refusal to budge from the N60,000 figure.

Osifo emphasized that the TUC will continue its efforts until the Minimum Wage Act of 2024 is enacted. He mentioned that if the President’s proposal is unsatisfactory, they will appeal to the National Assembly for a more favorable outcome.

On May 31, the federal government and OPS agreed on a N62,000 minimum wage, an increase from the previously rejected N60,000. The 36 states, represented on the Tripartite Committee, expressed their inability to pay even the lower figure, while labor unions insisted on at least N250,000, a reduction from their initial N494,000 demand.

The Tripartite Committee has submitted its report to the President, who is expected to decide on the final figure to be presented to the National Assembly.

During a Democracy Day state dinner, President Tinubu mentioned that the new minimum wage should be realistic and affordable, a sentiment echoed by local government representatives who also expressed their inability to meet the proposed figures.

National President of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Aminu Muazu-Maifata, revealed that many local governments are struggling to pay the current ₦30,000 minimum wage set in 2019, highlighting the need for a sustainable wage level.

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