Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo, a prominent member of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), has called on President Bola Tinubu to heed the labor leaders’ request for an increased minimum wage and prevent the country from facing imminent collapse.

In a statement, Ajadi emphasized that the demand for a minimum wage of N494,000 by the labor unions is a reflection of the current economic realities.

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The sudden removal of petroleum subsidy and subsequent rise in food prices and essential commodities have made the unions’ demands justifiable, according to him.

Ajadi cautioned that a prolonged strike could have severe consequences for the economy and urged the president to engage in productive discussions with the labor unions to avoid such a dire outcome.

Furthermore, Ajadi warned against using threats against labor leaders, as it could exacerbate the already tense situation in the country.

He referred to the recent statement made by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who warned that labor leaders could face imprisonment if they proceeded with the strike.

Fagbemi cited Section 18 of the Trade Disputes Act, which requires essential service workers to provide a 15-day notice before ceasing their services and mentioned potential penalties for non-compliance.

However, Ajadi advised the Federal Government that resorting to threats is not in the best interest of the nation.

He called on President Tinubu to personally engage in dialogue with the labor leaders and find a way forward that aligns with the existing realities.

Ajadi highlighted that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy and the lack of regulation on food and essential commodity prices have negatively impacted the value of the naira.

He emphasized that even the proposed N494,000 minimum wage would not be sufficient to sustain an average worker for a month.

Therefore, Ajadi urged the Federal Government to devise a comprehensive approach to mitigate the effects of the high cost of living in the country.