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Unrealistic Minimum Wage Will Lead To Job Loss – FG Warns Labour

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The Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has affirmed its dedication to establishing a realistic and sustainable minimum wage for Nigerian workers, mindful of the potential repercussions on the nation’s employment rates.

During his keynote address at the 2024 Synod of the Charismatic Bishops Conference of Nigeria held in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister Idris highlighted the delicate balance needed in wage negotiations.

He urged organized labour to consider the broader economic implications of their wage demands to avoid triggering widespread job losses.

The government’s stance comes amid intense negotiations with labour unions, which are advocating for significant wage increases to cope with the country’s escalating cost of living.

However, Idris warned that adopting an unsustainable wage structure could destabilize the economy and lead to adverse outcomes such as massive layoffs.

“Agreeing to unrealistic wages would not only strain the economy but could also backfire by jeopardizing the very employment it aims to enhance,” said Idris, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach that secures the welfare of workers while maintaining economic stability.

The minister’s comments have set the stage for further discussions with labour representatives, who are expected to weigh these considerations as they continue to push for a fair resolution that aligns with the economic realities of the country.

He said, “As I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is not opposed to the increase of wages for Nigerian Workers but we keep on advocating for a realistic and sustainable wage system for the workers – a wage system that will not undermine the economy, lead to mass retrenchment of workers and jeopardise the welfare of about 200 million Nigerians.

“We want the labour unions to understand that the relief that Nigerians are expecting, and that they fully deserve, will not come only in the form of an increase in wages. It will also come as efforts to reduce the cost of living and to ensure that more money stays in the pockets of Nigerians.”

The minister also called on religious leaders to assist in raising public awareness about government initiatives and efforts.

Idris emphasised the crucial role of the clergy in disseminating information about available opportunities and the government’s ongoing efforts.

“As a government, we need your support, your advice, and your feedback,” Idris stated. “Very importantly, we need you to be aware of the efforts being made and the challenges being faced so that you can help us communicate these to your congregations and the general public,” he said.

The minister highlighted the influential platforms of religious leaders, noting their potential to enlighten Nigerians on their rights, responsibilities, and the economic opportunities provided by the policies under President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

The agenda aims to promote economic rebirth, strengthen national security, boost agriculture and food security, and transform infrastructure and transportation.

“Information and awareness are critical, and this is where our religious leaders come in. You have very influential platforms that can enlighten Nigerians on their rights, responsibilities, and the abundance of economic opportunities being thrown up by the policies and programmes being implemented under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu,” he noted.

He acknowledged the significant role of spiritual leaders in fostering peace, unity, and hope within Nigerian communities.

He extended commendations to the Charismatic Bishops Conference and the Christian Association of Nigeria for their contributions to harmony and peaceful coexistence.

“The President has always recognised the profound impact of religious leaders on the unity, peace, and prosperity of our country. He deeply values the partnership between the government and the religious community in building a nation that thrives on mutual respect, understanding, and shared values.

“Let me extend our heartfelt commendation to the Charismatic Bishops Conference and by extension the Christian Association of Nigeria, for your instrumental role in promoting harmony and peaceful co-existence in our country.

“Indeed, the Church, throughout our nation’s history, has been a steadfast partner to the government in championing social causes and the provision of essential social services such as hospitals and schools, as well as the inculcation of values in our citizens,” he said.

Reflecting on Nigeria’s current challenges, Idris praised Tinubu’s leadership in implementing crucial reforms to steer the country towards growth and sustainable development.

He reiterated the importance of the Church’s partnership with the government in championing social causes and providing essential services such as hospitals and schools.

Idris said it was important for religious leaders to support the government’s vision for Nigeria’s renaissance and to pray for guidance as the nation works towards a prosperous future.

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman