May 20, 2024

Anglican Primate urges mutual understanding in minimum wage talks

Minimum wage

By Luminous Jannamike

The Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Dr. Henry Ndukuba, has called on the federal government and organized labour to reach a common ground in the ongoing minimum wage negotiations to avert looming crisis in the country.

Speaking during his Episcopal Visit to the Cathedral Church of Advent, Life Camp, Abuja, yesterday, the cleric emphasised the need for a peaceful resolution, warning that further industrial actions would worsen the already precarious economic conditions faced by Nigerians.

Ndukuba noted that the country was grappling with numerous economic challenges, adding that it was essential to ensure that the ongoing negotiations between the federal government, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, reached a conclusive stage to prevent further suffering for citizens.

The Archbishop’s appeal came as the government and organized labour resumed dialogue this week to resolve the lingering minimum wage dispute.

The labour unions have been demanding a new minimum wage of N615,000, while the government has been hesitant, citing economic constraints.

Ndukuba urged both parties to be considerate and reasonable in their demands, stressing that a minimum wage that triggered inflation would lead to maximum suffering for Nigerians.

He prayed for a peaceful resolution, seeking support for labour demands, while encouraging the government to consider the plight of citizens.

The Primate said:  “As we navigate the complex issue of minimum wage, we must remember that our country is facing numerous economic challenges. Families are struggling to make ends meet, and we are in danger of being dehumanized.

”As I always say, ‘with the situation in our country in which families do not even know what to eat and how to provide for their needs, where we are dehumanized, we will begin to think the way we should not think and do the things we should not do.’

“In this context, we must approach the minimum wage negotiations with caution. If we are demanding a minimum wage that will make inflation to get out of hand, we will end up in maximum suffering.

“Therefore, I pray that every side will be considerate, and what labour is asking, we give them support, and we also want to say that the government should consider what to do in order to see that something is done, even if it is not up to what they are demanding.”

The cleric’s call for peace and justice resonated with the congregation, as he emphasized that Nigeria needed peace and justice.

According to him, there can be no peace without justice. He lamented the dehumanizing conditions faced by many families who struggle to provide basic needs, and warned that desperate situations could lead to desperate actions.

“Ultimately, our goal should be to achieve peace and justice for all Nigerians. As I always say, ‘Nigeria needs peace and justice, and there cannot be peace without justice.’ Let us work towards a peaceful resolution that benefits everyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Communion marked Pentecost Sunday with a special service, led by Primate Ndukuba, who emphasized the significance of the day in the life of the church.

He highlighted the importance of nurturing the next generation, particularly the boy child, who he described as an ‘endangered species’ in need of care and support.