Politics

Minimum Wage: Give Me Cost Implications In 48hrs, Tinubu Orders Finance Minister

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has directed the minister of finance and coordinating for the economy, Wale Edun, to come up with the cost implications of an affordable, sustainable, and realistic new minimum wage and present the figures within 48 hours.

He gave the order at a meeting with the government’s negotiation team led by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, George Akume, at the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this in an interview with correspondents after the closed-door meeting.

Other members of the team, which has been meeting with the organized labour, included ministers of finance, budget, and national planning, labour, information as well as the group managing director and chief executive officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited.

Idris said that the president directed the minister of finance to present the new minimum wage figures that will form the basis of negotiation with the organised labour.

The information minister stated: “The president has just summoned a meeting of all those who negotiated on behalf of the federal government led by the secretary to the government of the federation, the minister of finance was there the minister of budget planning, the
minister of information, the minister of budget and national planning, the minister of labour, and the NNPCL GMD.

“We were all there to look at all issues and the president has directed the minister of finance to do the numbers and get back to him between today and tomorrow so that we can have figures ready for negotiation with labour.”

Idris assured of the president’s readiness to accept the committee’s resolutions with the Labour in line with his commitment to the welfare of Nigerians.

He explained that the Federal Government is keen to ensure a balance of its commitments with the economic realities of the country.

The government’s spokesman added: “And let me say that the president is determined to go with what the committee has said and he’s also looking at the welfare of Nigerians.

“Government is not against or opponent of labour discussions, government is not an opponent of wage increase but what is there is that government is always there to ensure that there is a balance between what government pronouncement is and what the realities are on ground.

“And therefore, we will work assiduously to ensure that whatever promises government makes is promise that will be kept that is the idea of this meeting.”

Furthermore, he said President Tinubu has directed the government representatives to work with the organised private sector and the sub-nationals to achieve a new affordable and sustainable wage award for Nigerians.

Idris explained: “The President has given a matching order that all those who have negotiated on behalf of the federal government and all those who are representatives of organised private sectors, the sub nationals to come together to have a new wage award that is affordable, sustainable and that is also realistic for Nigerians.

“The wage award is not just that of the federal government like I mentioned earlier, the sub nationals are involved, the organised private sector is involved; it was labour that stepped out during that procedure. Now we have come back to the negotiation table.”

The minister assured that all parties to the negotiation of the new minimum wage will cooperate with the organised labour to present a new minimum wage for Nigerians in one week, noting: “All of us will work together assiduously within the next one week to ensure that we have a new wage for Nigeria that is acceptable, sustainable and also realistic.”

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