Why the N56,000 New Minimum Wage is a Must- NLC

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NLC Deputy President, Mr. Peters Adeyemi has come out to explain why the increase in worker’s minimum from N18,000 to N56,000 is an absolute must.

Adeyemi explained all this in Abuja at a press conference. He argued that it was the constitutional right of workers to have their salaries increased every five years.

He also stated that governments were not necessarily prohibited from increasing salaries even in a recession as it could be an economic stimulant.

Adeyemi noted that as at the time N18,000 minimum wage was negotiated with the federal government, the exchange rate was about N145 to a dollar. He argued that while inflation had resulted in the increase of goods and services, workers salary has remained the same.

He said: “If you ask me how justified is the N56,000 wage increase in spite of the economic crisis, my answer would be yes, it is highly justified. “First do not forget that the naira itself has collapsed,beyond the expectation of every Nigerian,I recall when we negotiated the N18,000 minimum wage, the exchange rate then was about N145 to a dollar.

“As at this morning, its about N321 to a dollar, I heard its a bit stable now at N321, but if you do arithmetical calculations, it shows it more than one hundred percent poor, in whatever way you want to look at it. “What that means in effect is that the N18,000 itself has gone down beyond one hundred percent from the time it was negotiated. “By implication, what N18,000 could buy as at when it was approved has reduced significantly beyond more than half, it would not be fair to say that we must continue to insist that N18,000 should be what is payable.

“Talking about the inflationary trend, if you look at the values associated, even the unlawful increase in electricity tariff, you will find that there has been tremendous increase in the prices of goods and services and salaries of workers have remained stagnant, right now we are talking of fuel scarcity, you also know that Nigerians have had to contend with buying of petrol as much as N250 and workers are involved at these outrageous demands.”

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