TUC Lambasts Onanuga Over Minimum Wage Comments

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has lambasted Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Bola Tinubu, over his recent claims that both the federal and state governments will not be able to pay public servants a national minimum wage of N100,000 or more.

While reacting to comments credited to the presidential aide on Monday, among others, TUC, in a statement by its Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, said: “Such speculative statements undermine the fundamental principles of fair compensation and perpetuate the cycle of economic inequality.”

Toro said that President Tinubu’s government owes workers a duty to advocate for policies that promote decent wages and ensure a reasonable standard of living for all citizens, in line with global best practices.

He said: “The federal and state governments, employers, and labour are in the preliminary stages of negotiations for the New National Minimum Wage in the country by the constitution. No proposals have been made by any of the negotiating partners, including the Presidency; no offer has been made, and none has been negotiated. So, the President’s spokesman, in bandying around figures, is merely being mischievous. This may well be a strategy to throw a spanner in the works of the negotiating body.

“If the Presidency has a figure or figures it wants to propose, it should do so through the minimum wage negotiating committee, through social dialogue, determined by the cost-of-living index, rather than behave like a man throwing stones in the marketplace and hiding his hand.

“The Presidency has knowledgeable people in government that can advise on how proposals are submitted to the negotiating body, rather than allow grossly uninformed speculators like Mr Onanuga to dirty the waters.”

According to the TUC scribe, Onanuga’s speculation will no doubt serve to sow the seed of discord and undermine trust in the government.

“Nonetheless, Congress is not going to dignify Onanuga and his principals with counter-proposals because this is neither how tripartite negotiation works, nor how social dialogue can be carried out. Rather, we are focused on executing the socio-economic and patriotic task of giving the country a sustainable living wage.

“We urge the working people to ignore and disregard Onanuga and his tribe of gamblers, who, while milking the country dry, wail that there is no money to pay hard-working Nigerians decent wages,” Toro added.

(Daily Post)