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Strike :Senate urges FG to continue payment of N35,000 wage award

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Senate has urged the Federal Government to continue the payment of N35,000 wage award to workers, following the yet to be concluded negotiations on minimum wage.

President of Senate, Godswill Akpabio said this at the end of a four hour closed door meeting with leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and some Ministers over planned industrial action by the union.

Akpabio also appealed to the union to shelve the proposed strike action in the interest of Nigerians and the nation.

“We have been making appeal and asked the NLC and TUC to shelve the proposed strike and return to the negotiating table to resolve the issue.

“I appeal that the strike be suspended for negotiations to continue in the interest of Nigerians and the nation.”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, said that government’s position on the wage award was that it should continue the payment until the negotiations for the minimum wage is concluded.

“The position of Government is that the Federal Government will continue to pay its workers the wage award of N35,000 that was started in Oct 2023 until a new wage regime is instituted”.

He said he was optimistic that labour would suspend the proposed strike, following the lengthy conversation with the leadership of the National Assembly, organised labour and the federal government delegation.

He said that Nigeria could not afford strike at this moment given the challenges faced on the economy.

Idris said all hands must be on deck to ensure prosperity of the nation as strike was not the best option at this point.

“And we have pleaded with labour to see reasons with the Federal Government and everybody while the strike cannot continue in the interest of every body.”

The minister said that government was sensitive to the demand of labour and called on the unions to see reasons to heed to the request of government.

He said that Nigeria could not afford the payment of N9.5 trillion additional financial burden based on labours” demand of N494,000 demand made by labour as minimum wage for workers.

However, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Festus Osifo said both parties were aware of what the issues were.

He said the leadership of the union did do have power to call off the strike, saying that there were processes involved in suspension of an industrial action.

“We have listened to them, we will take the request of the National Assembly leadership to our organs, because we don’t have power to call off strike.

“The power to call off strikes lies with our organs, who would sit to decide.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting had in attendance, Secretary to Government of the Federation, George Akume.

Others are Ministers of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, Science and Technology Uche Nnaji.

Others were Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Joe Ajaero. (NAN)

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