President Bola Tinubu

“We‘ll Come Up with Sustainable Minimum Wage Soon” – FG pleads with Workers

The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to the agreement it has with the Labour Union comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The Government in a statement signed by the Minister of State Labour & Employment, Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha said it had reviewed the commitments made with the Organized labour.

Onyejeocha on behalf of the Federal Government also stated that very substantial progress had been made in some areas.

“On the payment of wage award of N35,000 for Six Months, Government has so far paid for four months up to 31st December, 2023. The remaining two months of January and February, 2024 are being processed,” Onyejeocha said.

“On the Minimum Wage Committee, Government has on 30th January, 2024, inaugurated a 37 Member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage to review and come up with an acceptable and sustainable Minimum Wage for the Nigerian Workers”, he added.

The minister of State Labour & Employment added that the committee set up to that effect had so far held two meetings and discussions were on-going.

She revealed that with respect to the suspension of collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023, this was effected immediately.

According to her, it was on record, that no one had been subjected to this form of taxation since October 2023.

On the provision of CNG buses and conversion kits, Onyejeocha said the government had so far made substantial financial commitments in this area.

These buses, she said, would be rolled out very soon to alleviate the transportation challenges being faced by Nigerians.

On the issue of various tax incentives as contained in the agreement, she said the government had commenced series of engagements with relevant stakeholders while all necessary machineries were being put in place for the effective implementation.

Speaking on the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and RTEAN, she stated that the Federal Government waded into the matter and the issue had been amicably resolved.

The Lagos State Government was mandated to address the matter and according to her, the executive body of the union had been inaugurated and all contending issues were resolved.

On the outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in federal-owned educational institutions, Onyejeocha said the government had paid in full, the four months outstanding salaries to ASUU as approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with action on-going with respect to other unions as well.

She disclosed that so far, 3,140,819 households, including vulnerable pensioners had benefited from the N25,000 monthly conditional cash transfer amounting to N68.3 Billion before the temporary suspension of the programme.

On the distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country, she said government had made progress to ensure effective distribution to farmers to boost agricultural production.

The minister further said that the Tinubu-led administration had constantly engaged various state governments and the private sector on the issue of the implementation of wage award for their workers and this had been receiving favourable compliance by state governments.

According to her, the Federal Government would continue to use all relevant channels to ensure sustainability of the programmes.

“In order to encourage Micro and Small Enterprises as contained in Mr. President’s Broadcast on 1st August, 2023 to the Nation, plans have reached an advanced stage to accelerate the process of job creation through the release of funds to Micro and Small Scale business,” she said.

“In order to ascertain the level of rehabilitation of the Refineries in the country, a joint visitation by Government and Organized Labour was successfully carried out on 21 February, 2024 and it was established that the Port-Harcourt Refinery is 80% completed.

“Production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) will commence before the end of the year. In conclusion, the Federal Government is committed to social dialogue with organized labour and other stakeholders towards achieving industrial peace and harmony, while prioritizing workers welfare”, the minister said.

Both the NLC and TUC in a statement gave the Nigerian government an ultimatum to implement a 16-point agreement they had reached with them back on October 2, 2023.

The two labour unions had also planned to embark on a 2-day nationwide protest on February 27 and 28 regarding the increased cost of living, inflation, insecurity and challenges facing Nigeria.