The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have proposed and presented N56, 000 as the new minimum wage to the Federal Government.
Confirming this to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday,the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said the labour body made the formal proposal to the Federal Government on Tuesday.
“I can say now authoritatively that as of yesterday (Tuesday) we made a formal proposal to the Federal Government of N56, 000 to be the new minimum wage. The demand has been submitted officially to government and we hope that the tripartite system to look at the review will actually be put set up to look at it.”
The Union said the reason for their action is because of the state of the that the economy, coupled with the fact that the law states that wages for workers must be reviewed after every five years. He added that the new minimum wage is to ensure that no worker earns below what can sustain him or her for a period of 30 days.
“Our argument is that, yes, it is true that the economy is not doing well, but the law stated that wages for workers must be reviewed after every five years. So, the issue must be looked into by the Federal Government and workers should not be seen as sleeping on their rights.”
When asked by the journalists if the N56,000 minimum wage was reasonable in view of the inability of various employers to pay even the N18,000 minimum wage.
He explained that the government was expected to make it a matter of policy to review the minimum wage every five years. Arguing that the current minimum wage of N18,000 was negotiated when the naira was exchanging N100 to $1, stressing that the economic situation had drastically affected the purchasing power of the worker.
Wabba called on the government to immediately look into the issue of the national minimum wage as a way of fighting corruption in the country as failure to cater for workers’ welfare adequately,would make it difficult to fight corruption.