Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Minimum Wage: Labour Demands N50,000 for Workers Because of Present Economic Hardship

Organised labour will, this week, make a formal presentation for the review of the existing minimum wage to the Federal Government.

Against the backdrop of the present economic hardship and it’s attendant effects on the workers, Daily Sun investigation revealed that labour may be demanding for N50, 000 as the new minimum wage.

According to the two labour centres, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the review has become necessary as the existing one formally elapsed on March 24, 2016.

Constitutionally, the present minimum wage is expected to expire after five years, and it could be recalled that the present N18,000 minimum wage was set five years ago after intense deliberations from all the stakeholders, including government, employers and labour.


President of TUC, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, said the labour centre had finalized all arrangements and harmonised all contributions from all its affiliates.

He, however, noted that, as labour is expected to have a joint presentation, the leadership of the TUC would meet the NLC on tomorrow for the alignment.

“We are ready to submit our proposal to the Federal Government to commence discussion on the new minimum wage. We have been on it for sometimes now, as we have to do our home work properly before presentation to the employers and the government,” he said.

Kaigama said, irrespective of the present challenges in the economy and the resistance by the Governors’ Forum, labour would still go ahead to make its demand.

He said: “Our advise to the governors is anyone who cannot pay the minimum wage should resign honourably. When the states were being created, it was on the premise that they would be self sustainable and not to be going to Abuja cap in hands as we have now. It is high time the governors looked inward. Lagos State did it, even Edo and Ogun States, so what stops others?”

The TUC president said workers are more at the receiving end of the present challenge in the economy; the incessant fuel crisis, escalated prices of commodity, inflation and high cost of living without salary increase for five years.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, however, said the congress’ highest bodies, the Central Working Committee (CWC), the National Executive Council (NEC) and the National Administrative Council (NAC) are meeting from today to Thursday to harmonise and ratify the congress’ presentation before submission to the Federal Government.

Ayuba, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, at the child’s dedication and thanksgiving ceremony of the NLC Vice President, Amechi Asugwuni, said the NLC’s decision would have to be made by its highest organ.

“We have never relented on the struggle for the review of minimum wage and that is the reason we are meeting in Abuja. The meetings are crucial, every decision on the minimum wage will be concluded this week,” he said.

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