FG Sounds Alarm: Labour’s N494,000 wage demand spells economic disaster!

The Federal Government has cautioned against the proposed N494,000 new minimum wage by organized labour, stating that such an increase could severely harm Nigeria’s economy.

This warning was conveyed by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, during a press briefing in Abuja.

Minister Idris expressed concern that meeting the N494,000 minimum wage demand would impose an enormous financial burden of N9.5 trillion on the government.

He highlighted that the government had already agreed to a 100 percent increase in the minimum wage, raising it to N60,000 from the previous N30,000, in alignment with prevailing economic conditions.

However, Minister Idris expressed dissatisfaction with the organized labour’s proposal of a 1,547 percent increase in the minimum wage. He cautioned that meeting such a demand could force the federal government to downsize its workforce of 1.2 million employees, which would have detrimental effects on the country’s economy.

Minister Idris emphasized that while the government acknowledges the need for fair compensation for Nigerian workers, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains committed to avoiding actions that could result in significant job losses, especially in the private sector.

He stressed that many private sector employers might struggle to meet the wage demands put forth by organized labour.

The warning from the Federal Government comes as organized labour prepares to embark on an indefinite strike starting Monday, June 3, in protest against the government’s failure to implement a new minimum wage and reverse the April 3 electricity tariff hike.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had earlier signed the 2024 N28.7 trillion appropriation bill into law on January 1, with projected revenue of N19.7 trillion and a budget deficit of N10 trillion.

As stakeholders await further developments, the focus remains on finding a balanced approach to addressing wage concerns while safeguarding the stability and growth of Nigeria’s economy.

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