Minimum wage: NLC speaks on decision

3 Min Read

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has debunked claims that it is proposing N500,000 as Nigeria’s new minimum wage.

President of NLC, Joe Ajaero disclosed that the congress has not arrived at a decision to be presented to the tripartite committee on the National Minimum Wage charged with fixing a new minimum wage for workers.

He said that the N500,000 and N700,000 being proposed in various quarters were unknown to NLC.

“The N500K, N700K you are hearing are being collated at the level of the states. In Lagos and other places, I think they are about N700,000 while in other places they are talking about N500,000, which are inputs collated from geopolitical zones.

“But the NLC secretariat has not made any presentation, these minimum figures are what is coming from the states. When we collate them then we’ll do a central presentation based on these raw materials we are getting from states,” The Punch quoted Ajaero as saying on Saturday in Yola, Adamawa State.

He added, “It (minimum wage) has to be relative to cost of living in those states. You will agree with me that rent here is not as that in Abuja, and not the same thing as Lagos. So relatively speaking you won’t have a straight jacket like presentations by Labour in all the states.”

Ajaero urged the government to adopt policies that would reduce inflation and make the new minimum wage to be adopted meaningful.

He also dispelled concerns that raising the minimum wage would increase inflation.

“I don’t see why paying $300 relatively speaking will now create inflation that will cripple the businesses.

“Our currencies should be pegged in such a way that it gains its value. Until you do such, you don’t keep holding only one factor of production- which is labour down.

“Those industrialists whatever they are producing the price has gone up by over 500%.

“The worker whatever he’s buying whether food stuff and transportation the price has equally gone up in the same vein.

“All the small scale business people that sell Garri, toothpaste and vegetable will get share of it. The wage is one way you circulate prosperity. So i don’t think it will worsen it,” the NLC president said.

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