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FG can’t afford minimum wage Labour wants –Finance minister

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, has said Labour is asking for a minimum wage that is not affordable. He stated this while speaking on…

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, has said Labour is asking for a minimum wage that is not affordable.

He stated this while speaking on Channels Television’s show, Sunday Politics.

The organised labour is demanding N494,000 national minimum wage but the FG is offering N60,000.

Subsequently, Members of the organised labour, on Friday, declared to embark on an indefinite strike over the federal government’s refusal to raise the minimum wage from N60,000.

Joe Ajaero, the President of NLC, who disclosed this at a press conference in Labour House, Abuja, said the strike began by the midnight of Sunday, June 2, 2024.

But speaking on Sunday night, Edun said wage negotiation process is an integral part of democracy, noting that the worker deserves his wage.

“Given what is going on, he deserves a change and in fact by law, every five years, maybe we don’t have to wait till five years to set a new wage scale,” he said.

The Minister however pointed out that: “By law, it is a minimum wage. We are not setting a wage for the federal government workers. In a federation, you are setting a minimum figure that states must pay, that local government must pay, that the private sector must pay, that small businesses must pay.

“It is a fixed figure, not a scale. So, there are elements of how we have set the minimum wage in the past particularly what they called the consequential adjustment which given what labour is asking for today, would be unaffordable across the board.

“We have to focus on the fact that once it is enshrined in law, everybody that falls into the category of having to pay the minimum wage must pay it.

“Therefore, the affordability has to be taken into account. We probably has to also take into account the fact that there are other ways of supporting the cost of living of workers other than that particular wage scale,” he said.

He assured that with goodwill from all sides, a point beneficial to Nigerians and allows the economy to function properly would be reached.

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