“Cut your cloth according to available material” — Tinubu tells labour leaders

President Bola Tinubu has advised the organised labour to be realistic in their demand for a new minimum wage for workers.

This is even as the president said that Nigerian workers deserve improved welfare, better wages, as well as safe and enhanced working conditions as the driving force of the nation.

Tinubu stated this while speaking with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and that of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) led by Comrade Festus Osifo, on Thursday in Abuja.

President Tinubu said he is concerned about the welfare of Nigerian workers and that his administration is prioritizing their concerns.  

“I pay attention to everything around me. A happy worker is a productive worker. And society depends on the productivity of the happy worker,” Tinubu said.

However, the president called for realistic expectations as regards the minimum wage question, stating: “You have to cut your coat according to available cloth. Before we can finalize on the minimum wage process, we have to look at the structure.”

 “Why must we adjust wages every five years? Why not two? Why not three years? What is a problem today, can be eased up tomorrow. There is much dynamism to this process if we are not myopic in our approaches. We can take a surgical approach that is based on pragmatism and a deep understanding of all factors.”

In his remarks, the NLC President, emphasized the need for an upward adjustment to the minimum wage, noting: “Between living wage and minimum wage, we need to find a balance. Things are difficult for the Nigerian worker.”

 He congratulated the president on the judgement of the Supreme Court affirming the constitutional rights of local governments as regards financial autonomy and other salient principles.

“I have to congratulate you on the issue of local government autonomy. We have been in the streets protesting for local government autonomy. Now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it will amount to ungratefulness if we fail to commend you,” the NLC President said.

The TUC President, Comrade Osifo, said inflation has adversely affected the value of the naira and that the measures initiated by the government to address the rising cost of food and transportation need to kick in to give citizens relief.