The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has disagreed with the labour unions demanding more than N60,000 minimum wage and are set for strike.

Ajayi Kadri, the Director-General of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), spoke in an interview on Channels TV on Saturday.

Ajayi said it is a very difficult time for anyone to negotiate minimum wage, saying from the perspective of government, labour and organized private sector operate in an environment where there is general acceptance of the fact that the macroeconomics were not right, adding that even the global economy is experiencing a lot of shakeups and the aftermath of government necessary reforms.

According to him, from the beginning of the negotiations of the minimum wage, it was evident to the tripartite committee comprising the government, labour, and organized private sector, that it was going to operate in a difficult terrain.

Incidentally, Ajayi said the organized private sector and government had offered N60,000 as the minimum wage, saying it is very important for labour to understand that what was being talked about was a minimum wage.

“That is what some people have called the walk-in wage. That is the amount we will pay the least workers in the country. It is the minimum wage we are negotiating, not a living wage,” he stated.

He added that the government realized that it had limited capacity to pay and that the private sector is constrained by microeconomic, infrastructure and security challenges and so is also constrained to pay.

According to Ajayi, throughout the negotiation process, the private sector made it known that this was not the best time to negotiate minimum wage, but a time time to agree and grow the economy in such “that we will bake a bigger cake and then we’ll be able to share.”

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