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FG Proposes N54,000 as New Minimum Wage Amid Labour Dispute

Nigeria spend $2.19bn in external debt servicing in 5 months
Nigeria spend $2.19bn in external debt servicing in 5 months

The Federal Government has raised its proposed minimum wage to N54,000 following a walkout by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) during recent negotiations. This comes after the initial offer of N48,000 was rejected by the labour unions.

Despite the increase, the government’s offer remains significantly lower than the N615,000 minimum wage demanded by organized labour.

NLC President Joe Ajaero justified the demand for N615,000, stating that the figure reflects the economic realities and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six. He blamed the breakdown in negotiations on the government and the Organized Private Sector (OPS), criticizing their unwillingness to negotiate a fair wage.

Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), described the unions’ walkout as unfortunate, urging them to return to the negotiation table for the benefit of their members and national development.

Ajaero defended the unions’ decision to abandon the talks, arguing that the government’s proposed N48,000 minimum wage was insufficient and insulting to Nigerian workers. He noted that the least-paid workers in the private sector earn N78,000, highlighting the disparity between the government’s offer and prevailing wage standards.

The unions also criticized the government for failing to provide data to support its offer, which they claimed undermined the credibility of the negotiation process.

During zonal public hearings held on March 7, various figures were proposed as living wages, reflecting the economic challenges and high costs of living across different regions. Proposals ranged from N447,000 to N850,000, with organized labour ultimately settling on N615,000 as a fair minimum wage.

The NLC and TUC remain committed to advocating for the rights and interests of Nigerian workers, calling on the government to negotiate in good faith and acknowledge the true value of workers’ contributions to national development.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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