Nigerian Government Justifies N60,000 Minimum Wage Proposal, Caution Against Strike.

The Federal Government has responded to the planned strike by organized labor, scheduled to commence on Monday, stating that it would worsen the financial challenges faced by citizens.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejoecha, who spoke on behalf of the government, warned that a potential increase in the minimum wage should not result in extensive job cuts, especially within the organized private sector, which employs the majority of the country’s workforce.

She cautioned that the strike would not serve the best interests of the nation and its people, particularly during ongoing discussions. Due to the tripartite committee’s inability to reach a consensus on a new national minimum wage, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) resolved to initiate a strike on June 3. Onyejoecha expressed through her media aide, Emameh Gabriel, that “initiating a strike amidst ongoing negotiations would not only exacerbate the economic challenges but also intensify the hardships faced by millions of Nigerians who are already battling to make ends meet.” She highlighted that the government has consistently displayed dedication and goodwill throughout the negotiation process with organized labor.

The Labour Minister explained that the government’s suggestions were meticulously formulated, considering the economic realities of the country and integrating inventive solutions. She outlined these ideas to include a comprehensive package incorporating a wage hike to N60,000 for federal employees, the introduction of CNG-powered buses, and improved financial accessibility for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Additionally, she mentioned that the government has committed to investing in vital sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and others that are currently in progress. “This sector plays a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and stability. The government’s position is rooted in a profound comprehension of the negotiations, showcasing its commitment to striking a balance between the demands of workers and the economic conditions of the country. The objective is to establish a minimum wage that is both practical and sustainable, preventing any potential adverse effects on the economy.

By adopting this strategy, the government aims to safeguard the interests of both employees and employers, ensuring that any agreement reached benefits both parties and does not put the country’s economic advancement at risk. This equitable standpoint is vital for upholding harmony in the labor force and propelling national development,” she elaborated.

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