Timi Frank Advocates for Higher Minimum Wage Amidst Negotiations

Comrade Timi Frank, the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to stand firm and reject any minimum wage offer from the Federal Government that falls below N250,000 per month.

Comrade Frank’s call comes in the wake of reports alleging that the Federal Government has proposed a new minimum wage of N105,000 during ongoing tripartite negotiations. He argues that any amount below N250,000 would not constitute a decent wage for Nigerian workers, given the current socio-economic challenges facing the country.

In a statement made in Abuja, Frank accused President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration of double standards in salary fixing. He highlighted a recent bill sent to the National Assembly by President Tinubu proposing a 300% increase in the salaries and allowances of various judicial office holders, which has been swiftly passed and is now awaiting the President’s assent.

Frank, who also serves as the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and the Middle East, questioned the rationale behind the substantial salary increase for an already well-compensated arm of government while offering what he terms a “starvation wage” to the workers. He suggested that the executive, legislative, and judicial arms of government should consider reducing their salaries to accommodate a fair wage for workers who are struggling to afford even one meal a day. He said “How can you increase the salary of an arm of government that is already earning a humongous salary by 300 per cent and add peanuts to the paltry N30,000 that workers have been compelled to live with in this country as minimum wage in the last five years?”

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The former APC spokesperson did not mince words when he insinuated that the proposed salary increase for judicial office holders is a reward for their “devious work” in ensuring the current administration’s stay in office, including President Tinubu and Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and to potentially influence future judicial decisions.

This development adds another layer to the ongoing minimum wage saga, with the NLC and TUC already engaged in a critical battle with the Federal Government over wage increases. Comrade Frank’s intervention is likely to resonate with many Nigerian workers and could influence the trajectory of the wage negotiations.

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