• en

Organised Labour Demands N615,000 As New Minimum Wage For Nigerian Workers

Nigeria’s labour unions say the government is capable of paying the proposed wage increase to N615,000.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has tabled a bold demand for a new minimum wage of N615,000 per month, citing the pressing economic realities and soaring cost of living in the country.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, confirmed this development on Sunday, marking a significant push for improved conditions for workers.

The proposed wage increase follows extensive consultations between the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), culminating in the consensus that the current minimum wage of N30,000 is woefully inadequate to sustain the average Nigerian worker.

Labour leaders lamented the failure of some governors to fully implement the existing wage structure, which is set to expire in April, five years after the enactment of the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 by former President Muhammadu Buhari. This Act stipulates periodic reviews every five years to align with the evolving economic realities faced by workers.

Both the NLC and the TUC have consistently urged the administration of President Bola Tinubu to expedite the process of revising wage awards to reflect the current economic challenges.

In January, the Federal Government established a 37-member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, tasked with recommending a new wage floor for the nation.

Earlier proposals from the labour unions had varied, with the NLC initially advocating for a minimum wage of N1 million, driven by the country’s escalating inflation rates that have pushed many citizens into poverty.

 Conversely, the TUC had proposed a figure of N447,000 per month, while the NLC later adjusted its stance to request N794,000 per worker. However, in their latest submission to the government, both unions jointly proposed N615,000 as the new minimum wage, reflecting a compromise in the face of economic challenges.

Labour representatives underscored the detrimental impact of inflation, which soared to 31.70% as of February 2024, exacerbating the cost of living for Nigerian workers. They argued that state governors are well-positioned to meet the proposed wage increase, given the enhanced monthly revenue allocations allocated by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

Follow us on: