Nigerians react as Labour considers N100,000 as Tinubu issues ultimatum

According to a report from Punch, Organized Labour is considering agreeing to a N100,000 minimum wage as the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage begins a series of daily meetings over five days to reach a consensus.

Multiple sources within the labour movement informed The PUNCH on Tuesday that union leaders are contemplating lowering their initial demand from N494,000 to N100,000. This significant adjustment comes in response to widespread criticism and controversy, with many deeming the original proposal as unrealistic and excessive.

In a statement released by his media aide, Rabiu Ibrahim, on Saturday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, explained that the proposed minimum wage of N494,000 would result in an annual expenditure of N9.5 trillion, a financial burden he described as untenable for the nation.

Despite the efforts from the National Assembly leadership, the labour unions initiated an indefinite strike on Monday, severely disrupting economic activities across the country. This strike led to the closure of banks, airports, public schools, and courts, prompting the Federal Government to call an emergency meeting to resolve the deadlock.

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To advance the negotiations, the unions announced a five-day suspension of the strike on Tuesday after President Bola Tinubu agreed to consider a national minimum wage higher than N60,000. The tripartite committee has committed to meeting daily until a new minimum wage is established.

In a show of commitment to the negotiations, President Tinubu directed the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to present the cost implications of a new minimum wage within two days. This directive was given during a meeting with the government negotiation team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

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Speaking confidentially to The PUNCH, a senior NLC official confirmed that the unions will insist on a N100,000 minimum wage, although Labour has not yet formally presented its final offer to the tripartite committee.

Nigerian reactions to this development have been mixed. Some citizens express hope that a new minimum wage will improve living standards, while others remain skeptical about the government’s ability to sustain such financial commitments without straining the national budget. Business owners have voiced concerns about the potential impact on operating costs, while labour advocates emphasize the need for fair compensation in light of rising living expenses. The outcome of these negotiations remains a focal point for many Nigerians, as they await a resolution that balances economic feasibility with the welfare of workers.

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