By Daniel Edu
In a significant development, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, has announced that the provisional wage increase initially announced for low-grade workers will now extend to all workers. This revelation came after a four-hour meeting between leaders of Organised Labour and representatives of the Federal Government at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
Addressing State House Correspondents, Gbajabiamila clarified the expansion of the wage increase, stating, “There was a lot of chatter on Twitter about the issue of low-income workers only falling into the category of the provisional wage increase. And we did communicate with the President, and he quickly did say and agreed that all categories of workers will be given the wage bill. There is nothing like low income, median income, or high income.”
This development aims to address the concerns that arose after President Tinubu initially announced a provisional wage increment of N25,000 for low-grade workers. Labor unions had expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed six-month duration of the provisional increase and insisted that it should continue until a new minimum wage is officially approved. Additionally, the unions pushed for an upward revision of the wage increase to N35,000.
Gbajabiamila’s statement has raised hopes that the impending nationwide strike planned for Tuesday may be averted. He expressed optimism, saying, “Hopefully, we expect that Labor will call a meeting of their various branches and executive tomorrow to present the agreements that have been reached, and we pray and we believe and we hope that the strike will be called off on Tuesday.”
This development signifies progress in the ongoing negotiations between the government and labor unions and could lead to a resolution that benefits all categories of workers in the country.