Labour Considers N500,000 As New Minimum Wage Demand

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As the zonal public hearing on the new wage structure begins, there are indications that organized labour in Nigeria will push for a new minimum wage of N500,000, The Herald reports.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, had earlier suggested the possibility of pushing for up to N1 million, but based on proposals submitted by state chapters, Punch reports that the demand might be scaled down to N500,000.

The public hearing is expected to receive inputs from various stakeholders on a new minimum wage reflective of current economic realities.

The zonal public hearing is being held simultaneously in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja. It involves organized labour, state governors, ministers, civil society groups, and the organized private sector.

The goal is to arrive at a new minimum wage that considers workers’ economic challenges and aspirations. As provided by law, the current N30,000 minimum wage is set to expire on April 1, and the new wage is expected to be recommended by the tripartite committee on or before that date.

The demands from organized labour will depend on the cost of living index, which has been significantly affected by factors such as inflation, the depreciation of the naira, and the removal of the fuel subsidy.

The NLC has conducted a cost-of-living analysis, which reportedly suggests a figure slightly above N500,000 for an average family of six to meet their basic needs.

The zonal public hearing is part of the process initiated by President Bola Tinubu, who inaugurated a 37-member panel on the new minimum wage in January 2024.

The panel, comprising representatives from the federal and state governments, the private sector, and labour, is expected to recommend a new national minimum wage before the expiration of the current one.

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