The Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir, has urged organized labor to return to negotiations over the minimum wage.
This follows the decision by labor unions to walk out of discussions and threaten a nationwide strike.
Ajayi-Kadir made this call on Saturday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme.
The tripartite committee tasked with reaching an agreement on a new minimum wage failed to find common ground. Organized labor rejected the federal government’s latest offer of ₦60,000, calling for a significantly higher figure.
Ajayi-Kadir emphasized that a strike would not solve the problem. He appealed to labor unions to resume discussions, stating, “what is needed is to ensure that the discussions continue until an agreement is reached.
“We cannot afford to cripple the economy when all we needed to do was continue to build it. I think President Tinubu was very clear when he emerged as president that these are not going to be easy times and I think we needed to tighten our belts to deliver on economy that we know has been seriously battered.
“Of course, government on its own side has to demonstrate leadership, sensitivity and sense of mind as well as sense of occasion of the period that we are in.
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“So, government expenditure, government choices of what needed to be done, how much to be spent, the cost of governance itself, all of it has to come to the table.
“I think what labour is actually worried about is that they appear to be the ones on the brunt of it but we needed to be able to engage, walking out on the process and declaring strike, I do not think that that is what is going to solve this issue.”
He said the decision by labour if allowed to go on will be a huge blow on the private sector especially manufacturers that are already grappling with inadequacy in the macroeconomic environment.
“What we are saying is a situation that if we are not able to produce even with all the challenges we have, it is going to have a ripple effect, not only on our production process but on labour itself.
“If we down tools and we are unable to produce, it is doubtful if we will be able to pay even the offer that the private sector and the government have agreed,” he said.
The MAN Director-General’s comments highlight the concerns of Nigerian manufacturers regarding the potential economic impact of a minimum wage increase. They argue that a sharp rise in labor costs could hurt businesses and lead to job losses.
The Nigerian government is caught between the demands of workers facing rising living costs and the anxieties of businesses. It remains to be seen if both parties can bridge the gap and reach a compromise on a new minimum wage.

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