In view of the present economic difficulty and it’s consequent effects on the workers, organised labour will make a formal presentation for the review of the existing minimum wage to the Federal Government. Sequel to an investigation by Daily Sun, it has revealed that labour may be making a demand of N50,000 as the new minimum wage.
As stipulated in the Nigerian constitution, the current minimum wage of N18,000 is due for expiration after five years, therefore making it necessary to embark on the review since the existing one formally outlived its usefulness on March 24, 2016.
According to the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Bala Kaigama, the Nigerian Labour Congress and TUC have finalized all arrangements and harmonised all contributions from all its affiliates.
The labour leader pointed out that the leadership of the TUC would have a meeting with the NLC on 6th April for proper alignment in preparation for a joint presentation expected from labour. He added that despite the current economic challenge facing the country coupled with the opposition by the Governors’ Forum, labour is undeterred in its decision to present its demand. He said:
“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 sometime now, as we have to do our home work properly before presentation to the employers and the government.
“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 lamented the persistent fuel crisis, hike in prices of commodities, inflation and high cost of living which has been going on for years acknowledging that workers are at the receiving end as they have been forced to bear the brunt of the present financial crisis without an increase in salary for five years.
Nevertheless, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, disclosed that the congress’ highest bodies, the Central Working Committee, CWC, the National Executive Council, NEC, and the National Administrative Council, NAC, are meeting from Tuesday, April 5th to Thursday, April 7th, to harmonise and ratify the congress’ presentation before submission to the Federal Government.
The president who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, said the NLC’s decision would have to be made by its highest organ, adding that “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.”