The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress on Wednesday expressed deep disappointment as negotiations resumed at the Tripartite National Minimum Wage meeting.

Unfortunately, discussions hit an impasse due to what Organised Labour described as “the government’s apparent lack of seriousness in engaging in fair negotiations with Nigerian workers.”

Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja, the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero said, “Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector  has led to a breakdown in negotiations.”

Labour leaders protesting electricity hike on Monday.

According to Ajaero, the proposal of N48,000  by the Federal Government was an insult to Nigerian workers.

“Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 (forty-eight thousand Naira) as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.”

Ajaero noted that in contrast, the Organised Private Sector proposed an initial offer of N54,000.

“Though it is worth noting that even the least paid workers in the private sector receive N78,000 as clearly stated by the OPS, highlighting the stark disparity between the proposed minimum wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.

“Furthermore, the Government’s failure to provide any substantiated data to support their offer exacerbates the situation. This lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the negotiation process and erodes trust between the parties involved.

“As representatives of Nigerian workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a wage proposal that would result in a reduction in income for federal-level workers who are already receiving N30,000 (thirty thousand Naira) as mandated by law, augmented by Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 wage award, totalling N77,000 only. Such a regressive step would undermine the economic well-being of workers and their families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage Fixing process.”

Workers protest electricity hike in Abuja on Monday.

In conclusion, Ajaero said that Labour had to walk out of negotiations but noted that the Congress remains committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers.

“In light of these developments, and to prevent the negotiation of a wage deduction, the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have decided to walk out of the negotiation process. We remain committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers and will continue to engage in reasonable dialogue with the Government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable resolution to this impasse.”

He also called  upon the Government to reconsider its position and come to the negotiation table with, “clear hands that reflect the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian workers to the nation’s development and the objective socioeconomic realities that confront not just Nigerian workers but Nigerians today as a result of the policies of the federal government.”

He further urged the government to work alongside Labour to finalise the N615,000 minimum wage as proposed by Labour.

“Together, in a reasonable dialogue, we can work to give Nigerian workers an N615,000 National Minimum wage as proposed by us based on evidence and Data. This will be in keeping with the pledge of the President; his Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure a Living wage for Nigerian workers.”


President Bola Tinubu said this through his Vice-president, Kashim Shettima on January 30, 2024, at the 37-member panel at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja.

With its membership cutting across federal, and state governments, the private sector, and organised labour, the panel is to recommend a new national minimum wage for the country.

In his opening address, Shettima urged members to “speedily” arrive at a resolution and submit their reports early.

“This timely submission is crucial to ensure the emergence of a new minimum wage,” Shettima said.

VP Shettima also urged collective bargaining in good faith, emphasising contract adherence and encouraging consultations outside the committee.

The 37-man committee is chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.

The committee had the terms of reference to ‘consult all stakeholders on the issue of national minimum wage and recommend a realistic and practical national minimum wage to the government.’

In furtherance of the assignment, a zonal public hearing was held simultaneously on March 7, 2024, in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja.

The NLC and the TUC in different states proposed various figures as a living wage, referencing the current economic crunch and the high costs of living.

In their different proposals on the minimum wage, the NLC asked the South-West states to pay N794,000 as the TUC mentioned N447,000.

At the North-Central zone hearing in Abuja, the workers demanded N709,000 as the new national minimum wage, while at the South-South, N850,000 minimum wage was demanded.

In the North-West, N485,000 was proposed, while the South-East stakeholders demanded N540,000 minimum wage.

The Organised Labour would later propose a recommendation of N615,000 as the living wage.