Organised Labour has kicked against the denials of the Nigerian Federal Government that President Buhari approved N30,000 as minimum wage for Nigerian workers contrary to what has been making the rounds in the press.
According to Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, the 30,000 wage proposal sent to the President by the Tripartite Committee was still in the proposal stage and had not been approved by President Buhari yet.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council, Lai Mohammed said the President would still study the report presented to him on Tuesday by the Chairman of the committee, Amal Pepple, before taking a decision on it.
According to the information minister, President Buhari will arrive at a decision after considering the report of the tripartite committee.
“I think it (N30,000) was a recommendation. Mr President will consider it and will make his views known in due course,” the minister said.
The minister was however pressed further on the matter by the reporters after which he said;
“I said a recommendation was submitted. Mr. President will get back to the committee after he has studied the recommendation.”
The newsmen also asked if the revenue sharing formula between the federal and state governments will be reviewed if the proposed minimum wage was approved and the minister said;
“Once again, like I said, a recommendation has been made and in responding to the recommendation, all these views will be taken into consideration.”
The report of the tripartite committee is expected to be presented to the National Economic Council (NEC) as well as the Council of State before a final decision is reached.
The council’s deceision will inform the executive bill which will be forwarded to the National Assembly.
Labour however kicked against the information credited to Lai Mohammed and threatened to go on strike as initially proposed if the Federal Government failed to approve and implement the N30,000 minimum wage recommended by the tripartite committee.
The General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Musa Lawal, while reacting to the news revealed that Organised Labour decided to shelve its planned strike because the government had expressed the willingness to accept the report of the tripartite committee.
He warned further that anything short of the full implementation of the report would be met with stiff opposition from Nigerian workers.
“They can say anything they want to say. Why were they panicky before? Why did they agree to the N30, 000? They can call it a mere recommendation or whatever they want to call it but the important thing is that at the end of the day, if we do not get the N30,000, they know what we will do.” The TUC general secretary said.