President Bola Tinubu says he is committed to implementing a National Minimum Wage that is higher than the N60,000 offered by the government.

The indefinite strike by labour unions may soon end after the unions late Monday reached an agreement with the federal government on a new national minimum wage.

The agreement was reached at a meeting convened by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, in Abuja. The meeting was also attended by the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, indicating the importance the Bola Tinubu administration attached to it.

Although no amount was agreed upon as the new minimum wage, the parties agreed that the federal government would agree to a higher figure than the N60,000 it currently offers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) began an indefinite strike on Monday to force the government to agree on a new minimum wage for workers as well as review the increase in the price of electricity for some consumers.

Monday’s agreement was signed by the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero; his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo; the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, and the Minister of Labour, Nkiruka Onyejeocha.

“The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria is committed to a National Minimum Wage that is higher than N60,000,” the agreement states.

To expedite a final agreement on the new minimum wage, the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage will meet daily over the next week. The goal is to arrive at an agreeable minimum wage that meets the expectations of both the government and the labour unions.

“Arising from the above, the Tripartite Committee is to meet every day for the next one week with a view to arriving at an agreeable National Minimum Wage;

“Labour in deference to the high esteem of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria’s commitment in (ii) above undertakes to convene a meeting of its organs immediately to consider this commitment; and A part of the agreement is the assurance that no worker will be victimised for participating in the industrial action.”

Following the agreement, the NLC and TUC leaderships are expected to meet with their unions’ executives and those of other affiliated unions on Tuesday to brief them and seek their approval to suspend the strike. That approval is likely to be granted and the strike may be suspended thereafter.


The unions had earlier said, “The current minimum wage, by law, expired on 19 April 2024, necessitating an urgent review.”

They said the recent increase in electricity tariff for a category of Nigerians is an unsustainable burden for businesses and workers.

They condemned the government’s proposal of N60,000 as the new minimum wage, up from the current N30,000 minimum wage, but way below the N495,000 requested by the labour unions.

They argued that the government’s offer is insufficient and shows a lack of sensitivity to the financial struggles workers are enduring because of government policies like the removal of the petrol subsidy, the devaluation of the naira, and increased electricity tariffs.

“Government’s counter-offer mocks the excruciating hardship brought on workers by its insensitive and oppressive economic policies,” the unions said.

The labour unions emphasized that their demand for a new national minimum wage is in line with international standards and legal requirements.

The conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), specifically the Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery Convention 26 of 1928 and the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention 131, require member nations to establish a minimum wage that provides workers with a living wage. Nigeria ratified these conventions, and a national minimum wage has been mandated by law since 1961.

Nigeria introduced its first minimum wage in 1981, setting it at N125 (about $188 at that time), which is equivalent to N282,000 at today’s exchange rate.

However, the actual value of wages has significantly decreased, leading many workers into poverty.

The strike called by the labour unions commenced on Monday morning. It paralysed activities at public places such as airports, schools and hospitals while many private businesses such as banks and electricity companies were also affected.

In an earlier statement on Monday, Mr Idris said that President Tinubu is committed to addressing Nigeria’s economic issues through humane and considerate policies.


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