By Nwachukwu Franklyn
Amidst rising economic challenges, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is pushing for a substantial increase in the minimum wage to N1 million monthly.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, highlighted the pressing need for this adjustment, citing escalating prices of essential goods and the persistent devaluation of the Naira.
Ajaero emphasised that any new minimum wage must accurately reflect the country’s economic realities. The NLC is scheduled to engage in negotiations with the Federal Government to address these concerns, following a recent 14-day nationwide strike notice.
In an interview on Arise Television, on Monday, said Ajaero said the current economic situation has necessitated a significant increase from the initial proposal of N200,000.
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With the cost of living soaring, the NLC President stressed the importance of aligning the minimum wage with the reality faced by workers.
Ajaero said, “This one million naira may be relevant if the value of the Naira continues to appreciate; if the inflation continues to depreciate. The demand for labour is equally dependent on what is happening in society.
“You will remember that by the time we contemplated N200,000, the exchange rate was about N900. Today, the exchange rate is about N1,400 or even more.
“Those are the issues that determine the demand, and they are equally affecting the cost of living, and we have always said that our demand will be based on the cost of living index.
“You’ll agree that a bag of rice is about N60,000 to N70,000. Foodstuff is getting out of reach. Now, will we get a minimum wage that is insufficient for transportation, even for one week?
“We have to factor in all these issues. And that will determine the federal government’s commitment to these negotiations.”