Just yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria’s organized labor called on the Federal Government to constitute a tripartite committee to discuss the proposed N56,000 new national minimum wage.
Ayuba Wabba, the President of the Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, made the announcement at the 2016 May Day celebration with the theme: “Working Class and The Quest for Socio-Economic Revival.”
Now, on Tuesday, The NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, had submitted a formal proposal of N56,000 new National Minimum Wage to the Federal Government.
Mr. Wabba said that the tripartite committee should comprise government (federal and state), the organised private sector, and labour.
“During the last May Day, we had stated that as soon as the new government to be sworn in on May 29, 2015 settled down, we would table a proposal for a new National Minimum Wage demand.
“The National Minimum Wage Act which former President Jonathan signed into law in April 2011 has a five year re-opener clause for new negotiations to review the new minimum wage.
“In fulfilment of the above provision, we recently submitted a N56,000 proposal as new minimum wage to the Federal Government.
“Our proposal of N56,000 is just N4,000 more than the figure we put out for negotiation in December 2008, which was N52,000.
The leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress believe that the demand for a new minimum wage of 56,000 Naira by Nigerian workers is long overdue.
Speaking on a breakfast program, Vice President of the NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu, said that too many years have passed since salaries were reviewed and 18,000 Naira is no longer realistic for today’s economic realities.
He said that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years and the proposed 56,000 Naira is subject to negotiation.
He insisted further that the current N18,000 minimum wage had become too small over the years as the current situation of the economy has turned the working class to beggers.
“18,000 Naira; you can’t drive this economy with this kind of miserable pay,” he said.
Mr Aremu also argued that some governors’ inability to pay salaries is borne out of the lack of will by the state governors.