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Organized labour explains why it may not accept N100,000 as minimum wage

May 20, 2024

Organised Labour has explained why the Federal Government should not think of offering N100,000 as the new minimum wage, insisting that it used the lowest minimum in arriving at N615,000 as the new minimum wage.

Organized Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, pulled out of the negotiation meeting last Wednesday when the government offered N48,000 as new minimum wage.

But the chairman of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni, in a letter to Organized Labour called for a meeting to be held on Monday, May 20.  He said that the government would shift ground and asked organised labour also to shift ground.

Reacting, NLC delegation on the Tripartite Committee, Prof Theophilus Ndubuaku, said it would not be kind of the government to offer N100,000.

He said;

 “I don’t think one hundred thousand naira is a kind of thing we want because it’s far below expectation; we will accept something that can at least keep somebody alive. I don’t think a hundred thousand naira will keep a worker alive in this country, a man with a family of six because our computation is based on the size of a family.

“So, if they come up with that kind of amount, I don’t think we will appreciate it. In the private sector, even artisans are not taking one hundred thousand a month. Whatever we accept we will look what is the income, and what are they collecting. what is available to the government because if the government is collecting one trillion naira, we cannot ask them to pay two trillion.

We are responsible people but the same government should know that people are suffering, they will have to agree with us that there is a crisis, that something needs to be done to create wealth, that something needs to be done for Nigeria to be a producing country and not a consuming nation

’Something needs to be done to reduce the cost of governance. We are supposed to be partners in governance, after all, we are the labourers.”

‘’If we see that hundred thousand is affordable, if we see that they can afford more, we will reject it. They have to tell us why they cannot pay N615,000, the onus is on them to tell us why, and then we will sit down and say okay you don’t have the money but we will also know why you don’t have the money because Nigeria is a country that is naturally endowed but something is wrong.

NLC Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said:

“Our expectations are that government should be serious this time around. We expect them to take more seriously the issue of wages of workers.”

On whether labour will accept N100,000 , he said: “Well, it will not be fair and these are the reasons. The first reason is that when we demanded N615,000, we broke that down. In fact, we used the barest minimum.

“For instance, we put accommodation at N40,000, we also use for feeding N500, tell me where you are going to get food for N500 with a family of six. As I said, we used barest estimates but beyond that, government hiked electricity tariff by two hundred and fifty per cent after we made our demand and that has introduced costs and expenses.

’So if the government is serious, it should not be thinking about one hundred thousand naira. You know that when you create poor citizens, you create a poorer country .”

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