The two labour bodies in Nigeria, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will, this week, make a formal presentation for the review of the existing minimum wage to the Federal Government.
With the economic hardships facing the country and its effects on workers everywhere the labour bodies have deemed it fit to propose an upward review of the current wage deal and have it raised to N50,000.
According to the two labour centres, the Nigeria Labour.
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. The current wage system expired on the 24th of March, 2016, therefore making an upward review of wages imperative.
President of TUC, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, said the labour centre had finalized all arrangements and harmonised all contributions from all its affiliates.
“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.