May Day: NLC, TUC Have Proposed N615,000 As New Minimum Wage

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May Day: “NLC, TUC Have Proposed N615,000 As New Minimum Wage”

The Nigeria Labour Congress said the NLC and the trade Union Congress (TUC) have proposed N615,000 as the minimum wage for a Nigerian worker, ahead of negotiations with the federal government.

The Public Relations Officer of the NLC in Lagos State, Ismail Adejumo stated this in an interview with Arise Television on Wednesday.

He said, “From the feelers we’re getting, we believe strongly that the government is very passionate and considers all the indices that are on ground, because what we proposed now both NLC and TUC, is 615,000;

“…as a benchmark to survive as a worker in Nigeria-to pay for rent that is not affordable, you have to pay for high cost of goods and services, you have to take care of your children school fees, you have to do transportation to and fro offices.”

The NLC PRO commended the federal government’s approval of a 25%-35% pay raise for civil servants and 28% raise for pensioners in celebration of Workers’ Day.

He said, “We are most happy despite all the economic hardships going on in this country at the moment. We are feeling the brunt of the fuel scarcity and so many other economic situations that has crippled the life of an average worker, because as we speak now;

“…I must confess to you we are happy with this announcement, though that is not the minimum wage it is just an adjustment to reduce the disparity in the categories of salary scale that we have in Nigeria.

“That of the medical and tertiary institutions have been resolved, and that is why they are not included. This one is the worst of all the category of the salary scale will have.

“So people are living in penury, people’s purchasing power have been very very low, in fact most workers are on life support. I must confess to you that most category of workers in the public service are living on very irredeemable loans, and that is the worst of the matter at the moment.”

He said, “We appreciate the government of Nigeria today coming to terms with the economic hardship, that there is the need to assist the downtrodden, the people who are below the poverty line people who are living with multi-dimensional poverty.

“As a worker you cannot be proud of it the sense living so this is very very absurd and we thank the government of today under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to at least take this direction while we are waiting hopefully, because he campaigned on a renewed hope that he will not let us down.

“So we are hoping that after the tri- patriate committee might have concluded with the labour leadership, then we should be having a living wage, not even a minimum wage.”

Speaking on the process which is being followed for the review of Nigeria’s minimum wage, Adejumo said, “The last minimum wage is due for review this April, and government have deemed it fit that they will not wait until the last day before they kick start the process of negotiation.

“We know all the economic indices that have been put into consideration to determine the minimum wage. But one thing is sure that they tri-patriate committee have already concluded the zonal public hearing.

“They came for the South-West hearing in Lagos at the blue roof, we were there, a lot of memo were submitted, there are a lot of positions here and there. But the final seal on it will be the memorandum of understanding;

“…a kind of collective bargaining agreement between the government and the labour leader, vis A vis the private sector and the governor forum representative, All of them will be party to it before they must implement it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adejumo said that it was an aberration for Edo State to come up with their own minimum wage, as no state has the power to pronounce minimum wage.

Adejumo said, “Minimum wage is a universal law and no state can pronounce a minimum wage, it’s an aberration.

“What happened in Edo state is just a kind of distraction to us because they’re trying to spite the government to know where they’re going,” he said.

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By Abia ThinkTank

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