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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has said the sum of N494,000 national minimum wage being demanded by organised labour, which cumulatively amounts to the sum of N9.5 trillion, is capable of destabilising the economy and jeopardising the welfare of over 200 million Nigerians.

Idris stated this at a news conference in Abuja in response to the threat by organised labour to embark on a strike if their demands were not met.

He said the offer of N60,000 minimum wage by the Federal Government, which translates to a 100% increase on the existing minimum wage of 2019, has been accepted by the organised private sector, which is a member of the tripartite committee of the negotiations team.

“The Federal Government’s New Minimum Wage proposal amounts to a 100 per cent increase on the existing minimum wage of 2019. Labour, however, wanted N494,000, which would increase by 1,547 per cent on the existing wage.

“The sum of N494,000 national minimum wage which Labour is seeking would cumulatively amount to the sum N9.5 trillion bill to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Nigerians need to understand that whereas the FG is desirous of ample remuneration for Nigerian workers, what is most critical is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not encourage any action that could lead to massive job loss, especially in the private sector, who may not be able to pay the wage demanded by the organised labour,” he said.

The minister said while labour is keen on the take-home pay of about 1.2 million workers, the Federal Government is concerned with the welfare of over 200 million Nigerians based on its guiding principles of affordability, sustainability, and the overall health of the nation’s economy.

Idris appealed to organised labour to return to the negotiating table and embrace reasonable and realistic wages for their members.

He said that because of the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the welfare of workers, the wage award of N35,000 for federal workers would continue until a new national minimum wage is introduced

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