Nigerian workers expressed optimism as the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-member tripartite committee to plan a new national minimum wage. The committee, set up by President Bola Tinubu, is tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the existing minimum wage. Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, urged the committee to employ a collective bargaining agreement in consultations to determine a fair wage for workers.
Governors, ministers, and the head of the Civil Service of the Federation, who are committee members, were directed to personally attend meetings. The committee is specifically responsible for proposing a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
Nkiru Onyejeocha, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, emphasized the need for the committee to expedite action, ensuring the minimum wage issues are resolved before the April deadline. Labour leaders lamented the challenges faced by workers due to the eroding value of the current minimum wage. Ahead of negotiations, organized labour proposed a living wage of $300, considering economic conditions and rising living costs.
Workers hope for a minimum wage that addresses their needs, while labour leaders stress the importance of commitment from the government and negotiators. The outcome will impact workers, social partners, and the Nigerian economy, as the committee aims to reach a consensus on a new minimum wage. The government is urged to address inflation concerns to ensure the new minimum wage’s effectiveness. The negotiation process is expected to be collaborative, considering the economic situation and challenges faced by workers in Nigeria.