In a decisive statement during the 25th Democracy Day Anniversary Dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Bola Tinubu affirmed his commitment to determining a minimum wage that aligns with Nigeria’s economic capacity. He announced plans to submit a memorandum to the National Assembly soon, signaling the final stages of the contentious wage negotiations.

Addressing Senate President Godswill Akpabio and other dignitaries, Tinubu emphasized the need for pragmatism in setting the new minimum wage. “We’re going to do what Nigeria can afford, what you can afford, what I can afford,” he declared, underscoring the importance of fiscal responsibility in the decision-making process.

Negotiations between the Federal Government, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), and labour unions recently concluded with the government and OPS offering N62,000, slightly up from the initial N60,000, while labour adjusted its demand to N250,000 from an earlier N494,000. The task now falls to Tinubu to potentially reconcile these figures and finalize the government’s proposal before forwarding it to the National Assembly for legislative action.

In a lighter moment during his address, Tinubu humorously addressed a mishap earlier in the day when he stumbled at Eagle Square. He attributed the incident to a traditional Yoruba gesture, explaining, “I was doing dobale at the Eagles Square,” referring to the act of prostrating to greet elders. He added, “Democracy is worth falling for.”

As the minimum wage debate continues to resonate across Nigeria, with implications for millions of workers, Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal prudence and affordability sets the stage for crucial legislative deliberations in the days ahead. The outcome will not only impact economic policy but also shape the socio-political landscape as Nigeria navigates its democratic journey.

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