As the debate on the minimum wage continues, the importance of considering the economic realities, national interest, and the sustainable impact of the proposed wage on states and workers remains at the forefront of the negotiations.

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The federal government has stood firm on the N62,000 monthly minimum wage offer recommended by the tripartite committee, emphasizing that the figure was determined after considering the national interest and current economic indices. This statement was made by Minister of National Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, and Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Aji.

The recommended wage, however, faced rejection from organized labour, which insisted on N250,000 as an acceptable national minimum wage. Additionally, state governors, under the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), reiterated their rejection of the N60,000 proposed minimum wage, expressing concerns about the potential negative consequences of implementing the new wage bill, including the possibility of retrenching up to 40% of the workforce in states.

In defense of the recommended wage, Senator Atiku Bagudu emphasized that the committee’s decision took into account the prevailing economic situation, national interest, and ongoing economic reforms. He highlighted the democratic process at play, acknowledging the diverse views and arguments presented by organized labour, which will be conveyed to the president for consideration.

Alhaji Bukar Aji echoed Bagudu’s sentiments, emphasizing that the committee’s recommendation was the result of a thorough understanding and analysis of all economic indices. He stressed the importance of caution to prevent further economic disruption, affirming that the recommendation aims to avoid creating additional challenges for the country.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) expressed its concerns about the sustainability of the proposed N60,000 minimum wage, citing potential financial strains on states and the adverse impact on development projects.

The NGF urged all parties involved to consider the socioeconomic variables and reach an agreement that is sustainable, durable, and fair to all segments of society.

The rejection of the recommended wage by both organized labour and state governors underscores the complexity of the minimum wage negotiations and the need to balance the welfare of workers with the economic viability of states.

The ongoing discussions highlight the challenges of finding a consensus that addresses the concerns of workers while ensuring the sustainable development of states.

The differing perspectives and considerations underscore the need for a comprehensive and sustainable approach to address the complexities of the minimum wage issue in Nigeria.