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It’s N250,000 Or Nothing: Labour Counters Tinubu’s Claims on Minimum Wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has refuted claims of any agreement reached on the new minimum wage with the federal government, emphasizing that there was no consensus reached during the negotiation process.

The NLC’s denial was part of a statement issued as its  response to President Bola Tinubu’s recent Democracy Day address to the nation on Wednesday.

Acting President of the NLC, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, who issued a statement on Thursday, clarified the position of the organized labour, stating, “Our demand still remains N250,000 only and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position.

“We appreciate the President’s commitment to those fine democratic ideals which allowed the work of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiation Committee to proceed unhindered despite some hiccups.

“However, we had expected Mr. President to have used this understanding as one of those who was in the vanguard of the struggle with us around the nation to rescue Nigeria from the hands of the military to harmonize the two figures submitted to him by the Tripartite Committee in favour of workers and masses. It would have been a fitting Democracy Day gift.”

He highlighted that the negotiation process concluded without a definitive agreement on the minimum wage figure.

The NLC expressed concern that President Tinubu may have been misinformed about the outcome of the negotiation, stating, “It appears that those who briefed him on the outcome of the tripartite negotiation conclusion did not tell him the true situation.”

“The NLC would have expected that the advisers of the President would have told him that we neither reached any agreement with the federal government and the employers on the base figure for a National Minimum Wage nor on its other components.

“We are therefore surprised at the submission of Mr. President over a supposed agreement. We believe that he may have been misled into believing that there was an agreement with the NLC and TUC.

“There was none and it is important that we let the President, Nigerians and other national stakeholders understand this immediately to avoid a mix up in the ongoing conversation around the national minimum wage.

“We have also not seen a copy of the document submitted to him and will not accept any doctored document.”

NLC acknowledged the president’s commitment to democratic ideals but raised concerns over alleged intimidation and harassment faced by labour leaders during the negotiation process.

They asserted that despite these challenges, they expected the President to champion the cause of workers and harmonize the wage figures in their favor.

““President’s advisers obviously did not tell him the truth that the leaders of the trade unions were intimidated and harassed. It is therefore important that Mr. President understands that we were threatened severally by his operatives perhaps without his consent.

“Series of media Propaganda calculated to intimidate and harass us were, and, are still being waged against the trade unions by senior officials of this government.

“Fully armed soldiers surrounded us while we were in a negotiation with the Government and despite denials, recent statements by senior officials of the Government reaffirmed our fears contrary to the assurances by the Government. However, we remain assured that the President’s democratic credentials will come to the fore in favour of Nigerian workers and masses.”Top of Form

Adeyanju emphasised the importance of transparency in the ongoing conversation surrounding the minimum wage and called for immediate clarification to avoid any confusion among stakeholders.

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