FG Appeals To Organised Labour To Suspend Ongoing Strike

The Federal Government has appealed to organised labour to shelve its ongoing strike action on the implementation of a new national minimum wage, urging the unions to return to the negotiation table.

Comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, organised labour declared an indefinite strike action on Monday, crippling economic activities as a means to pressure the government to meet their demands.

Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation in a statement emphasized that the federal government remained committed to a peaceful outcome.

Idris highlighted that the FG and unions were fighting in the same cause with a common frame of reference, the over 200 million Nigerian population.

He said: “As Government, we are desirous of a peaceful outcome, and we will do everything to make this happen. Yesterday, the leadership of the National Assembly met with the Unions. Today, we have offered another invitation to the Unions, to meet with us and continue our discussions.”

“We will continue to engage, and continue to make ourselves very available in the context of these negotiations on behalf of the Nigerian people”

“Let me make it clear that we are not opponents on this negotiating table. We are united by the fact that we want the best for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all 200 million citizens of the country.”

“We have a responsibility to strike a measured and realistic balance, in this effort to arrive at a new minimum wage for Nigerians.”

He further stated that the negotiations must note that the minimum wage was binding on both public and private sectors, adding that with the unions’ proposal, the Federal Government will incur an annual wage bill of N9.5 Trillion.

He further reiterated the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in doing the right thing as regards the sustainability of the minimum wage.

“The minimum wage is not only for public sector workers. It will be binding on the private sector as well. This reality must be factored into the negotiations.”

“As I have explained earlier, Labour’s current proposal of N494,000 is an increase of 1,547 per cent on the existing wage and translates into an annual wage bill of 9.5 Trillion Naira for the Federal Government of Nigeria alone.”

“This is apart from its cost implications for subnational governments and private sector employees. Such a wage bill would cripple the Nigerian economy, by leading to massive job losses, especially in the private sector.”

“The National Consumer Credit Scheme and the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) are additional significant demonstrations of a determination to bring relief to the people of Nigeria.”

“We want the Labour Unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of increased wages. It will also come as efforts to reduce the cost of living, and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians.”

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) is firmly committed to doing what is right, reasonable and sustainable regarding these minimum wage negotiations. We call on the Labour Unions to reciprocate this gesture in the interest of the nation.”