May 15, 2024

Minimum wage: FG’s N48,000 proposal makes no sense — TUC

Minimum wage: N54,000 falls short of what Nigeria should be paying — TUC 

President of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Festus Osifo speaking on Channels Television.

By Miftaudeen Raji

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has rejected the N48,000 proposed by the Federal Government as the new minimum wage, saying  it does not make any sense.

The TUC President, Festus Osifo berated the FG’s proposal while speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

Osifo said the federal government was not being serious in the negotiation with the workers.

According to Osifo, the least federal workers are already earning up to N77,000, saying proposing N48,000 at the moment is ‘abysmal.’

He said, “Before President Muhammadu Buhari left office, the last person in the federal ministry was actually earning N42,000.

“If you now factor in the wage award of N35,000 that was given, N42,000 plus N35,000 will give us N77,000, so as of today what the least federal government worker earns is N77,000.

“So, the question that we now ask is that if the least federal government worker is earning N77,000, why are you now coming to present N48,000? It does not just make any sense,” he said.

Osifor challenged the Federal Government to come forward with data backing the N48,000 proposal and convince the union members on how that amount reflect the reality of the average Nigerian worker.

Recall that earlier on Wednesday, the labour unions walked out of the ongoing minimum wage negotiations with the government and the Organised Private Sector following what the union leaders described as a ridiculous offer by the government.

The TUC leader said that at the meeting, the labour unions proposed a N615,000 minimum wage which they gave a breakdown of how it was arrived at.

He said that the government on its part presented N48,000 with no breakdown of how it can cater for the needs of the Nigerian workers.

According to Osifo, failure to back the N48,000 proposal up with data shows unpreparedness on the part of the government which was why the union leaders walked out of the meeting.

He said that the union members still maintain that all conversations around a new national minimum wage must be concluded by the end of May.