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Nigerian govt insists on N62,000 minimum wage despite Labour’s stance



The lingering feud between the Nigerian government and organized labour on the minimum wage saga may not have an end soon as the government has insisted that it will not pay a dime above the N62,000 it had proposed despite labour pegging its demand at N250,000.

A statement from the Presidency on Sunday stated in clear terms that the N250,000 minimum wage clamour by Organised Labour was unsustainable, warning that the Federal Government could not channel all its resources to meet such a demand.

The position of the Nigerian government is coming after the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) also raised concerns over the amount being proposed by the FG in the face of escalating inflation and high cost of living.

ALGON, had, in a statement, said if approved, the wage may put a strain on the councils’ financial burden.

Several rounds of talks between government and labour leaders have stalled as the Tripartite Committee set up to negotiate on behalf of government has failed to reach a compromise with labour.

The labour unions have described the proposal as an insult to the intelligence of the average Nigerian worker, whom they say deserve far better than what the government offered.

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, in an interview, disclosed that unless the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress were selfish, they should consider that the resources meant for the entire Nigerians could not be channeled to only the benefit of their members who are not more than 10 per cent of the entire population.

“That is why we keep telling labour to be realistic because the government cannot use all its resources to pay workers. They have other things to do. The workers we are even talking about are not up to 10 per cent of the population.

“Many people are self-employed or engaged in the private sector, who are not members of Labour, and are not affected by this demand.

“This is even more reason why labour has to reconsider their decision critically instead of always striving to shut down the system. What the FG did was in consultation with the private sector and others.

“Only Labour, which appears to be in the minority, kept saying they won’t accept N62,000. They are not even employers but employees.

“Let us wait and hear what they are going to say after their return from the ILO conference. But they have to be realistic,” Onanuga reiterated.

Onanuga added that the Federal Government might not meet the Labour leaders again unless something cogent turned up.

“I am not sure whether the FG is meeting with them or whether its position on the minimum wage has changed. Don’t forget the current amount on the table was arrived at by the committee that also has the private sector where the NECA and NACIMMA were also represented.

“That was the figure the FG delegation, sub-nationals, employers, NECA and other sectors agreed on. So, the FG cannot just decide on any other amount of money on its own without carrying these people along.

“And the government cannot just decide anything without ensuring that the state and local governments are able to pay,” he said.


Over 10 million people displaced by Sudan war— IOM



The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that as the world’s worst displacement crisis worsens in Sudan, almost 10 million, which is about 20% of the country’s population, have been forced from their homes since the conflict there started.

This is the most recent alarming estimate from the nation in East Africa, which has been destroyed by fighting that started in April 2023. The majority of the nation, around 50 million people, are now in need of humanitarian help and half of them are experiencing starvation as a result of the war.

According to a bimonthly report from the IOM, since the start of the conflict, over 2.2 million people have fled to foreign nations and about 7.8 million have sought safety within the nation. Previous conflicts in the country have already resulted in the displacement of an additional 2.8 million people.

When fighting broke out between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital city of Khartoum last year, it soon spread to the west throughout Darfur, with the RSF seizing control of most of the major cities.

Some UN experts have argued that the main cause of migration from Darfur—where it is impossible to provide aid—is now hunger rather than conflict.

“All refugees I met said the reason why they fled Sudan was hunger,” said World Health Organisation country director Dr. Shible Sahbani to reporters after visiting refugees from Darfur, the source of half of the displaced population, in Chad.

“A woman who just reached Adré reported that all food they used to produce locally in Darfur was taken by the fighters,” he added.

More than 150,000 people were displaced from Sennar state as the RSF extended its reach in the southeast of the nation in recent weeks, according to the IOM. Many of these individuals were relocated for the second or third time following RSF attacks on houses and marketplaces in the state’s minor towns and villages.

The RSF blames the activities of rogue actors and disputes that it has harmed civilians.

RSF forces have conducted incursions in Gedaref state, home to 668,000 people who are facing heavy rains and no shelter. This state is currently hosting a large number of displaced persons.

Human Rights Watch issued a warning last week about the risk of the RSF expanding into the Gedaref for the 40,000 Ethiopian refugees, most of whom are Tigrayans, who are alleged by the RSF to be fighting alongside the army.

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Nigerian govt to spend N3tn on new minimum wage, pensions, gratuities— Minister



Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, on Friday, disclosed that the Federal Government would spend N3 trillion on the new minimum wage as well on payment of pensions and gratuities.

The minister made the disclosure during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Appropriations chaired by Olamilekan Adeola, while presenting the general principles of the newly amended 2024 budget to the committee at the meeting.

During the meeting with the Committee, Bagudu highlighted that the new budget additions would not be funded by loans but by an already reserved profit.

He further explained that priorities were given to projects that would open up roads for investments and emergencies, while other road projects would be addressed in subsequent batches.

He also stated that the country’s historical underinvestment in infrastructure was a root cause of recent problems and commended President Bola Tinubu for addressing the infrastructure deficit.

Bagudu told the Committee that the recurrent budget of N3tn will fund the minimum wage, pensions, and gratuities, while the capital component of N3.2tn will augment existing road projects on state and federal routes, including coastal roads, the Sokoto-Badagry road, railway construction, and dam irrigation.

Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had on Thursday, accepted the N70,000 minimum wage proposed by Tinubu, saying it was an act of solidarity.

The union, in a statement signed by its National President, Joe Ajaero, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting, affirmed that the NLC would continue to defend the rights of Nigerian workers at all times.

“NEC-in-session concluded that this decision, though challenging and far from our initial demand, was made in the spirit of solidarity and sacrifice for the Nigerian masses to avert a threatened further hike in the price of petrol, which would inflict more hardship on the already suffering masses.

“Once again, NEC-in-session restates the commitment of the NLC to continue standing resolutely in its mission to defend and advance the rights of Nigerian workers and the Nigerian people at all times.

“It therefore calls on all Nigerians to unite in this cause and to hold our leaders accountable to the same standards of sacrifice and service.”

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