In recent negotiations, Organised Labour turned down the government’s latest proposal, marking the third offer in about a week. Despite this, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) reduced their initial demand from ₦615,000 to ₦497,000.

A key member of the Tripartite Committee for the new minimum wage negotiations, said that the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector proposed a ₦57,000 monthly minimum wage. This is an increase from the ₦54,000 proposed on Tuesday when talks resumed. Last week, the government had initially proposed ₦48,000, which was also rejected by Organised Labour.

According to the source, Organised Labour agreed to lower their demand from the initial ₦615,000 to ₦497,000 after seeing some merit in the ongoing discussions.

Last week, Organised Labour had withdrawn from negotiations, accusing the government and the private sector of being unwilling to agree on a new minimum wage. When negotiations resumed on Tuesday, the NLC and TUC rejected the government’s new proposal of ₦54,000.

The committee has yet to reach an agreement on a new minimum wage, with just about 10 days remaining before the May 31 deadline set by the labour unions.

On Tuesday, NLC President Joe Ajaero criticized the government’s fresh proposal as “unsubstantial”. “It is still not substantial compared to what we need to make a family moving,” Ajaero said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“There is nothing on the table…We may be reconvening tomorrow (Wednesday) in the afternoon to continue negotiations,” he added.

Ajaero highlighted the dire economic situation of workers, stressing the need for an agreement, stating, “The economy of the workers is totally destroyed. In fact, the workers don’t have any economy. I think there are two economies in the country; the economy of the bourgeoisie and the economy of the workers. I think we have to harmonise this so that we can have a meeting point.”

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