Minimum wage proposal: Labour adjusts demand to N500,000

Minimum wage proposal: Labour adjusts demand to N500,000

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Minimum wage proposal: Labour adjusts demand to N500,000.

Minimum wage proposal: Labour adjusts demand to N500,000

Organized labor is set to advocate for a minimum wage of N500,000 as the zonal public hearing on the new wage structure kicks off in various locations across Nigeria. The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, had previously hinted at the possibility of pushing for a minimum wage of up to N1 million if inflation persisted. However, recent proposals from state chapters indicate a more conservative approach, with labor leaning towards the N500,000 mark.

The public hearings, taking place simultaneously in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja, aim to gather input from various stakeholders including organized labor, state governors, ministers, civil society groups, and the private sector. These inputs will shape the new minimum wage structure to reflect current economic realities and the aspirations of workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress President, Joe Ajaero, will chair the North-East meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, while the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, will preside over the South-West hearing in Lagos. These hearings come on the heels of the inauguration of a 37-member panel on the new minimum wage by President Bola Tinubu, with a mandate to recommend a new national minimum wage before the expiration of the current N30,000 minimum wage.

Despite previous discussions, the tripartite committee has not settled on a specific figure for the new minimum wage. However, Joe Ajaero reiterated the potential demand for up to N1 million, citing the impact of inflation and rising costs of living under the current administration.

State chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress have conducted cost-of-living analyses, with initial proposals averaging around N900,000. After adjustments to account for various factors, including inflated costs, the proposed minimum wage settles slightly above N500,000.

As the zonal public hearings commence, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in states like Ogun and Katsina advocate for retaining the minimum wage on the exclusive legislative list, emphasizing compliance with International Labour Organization conventions.

Representatives from various states affirm their commitment to presenting demands aligned with the national union’s stance. While specific figures vary, the overarching goal remains ensuring fair compensation for workers in line with prevailing economic conditions.

Labour, Minimum Wage

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