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Nigeria’s Minimum Wage Tango: Labour Demands N615k, Government Offers N48k


Negotiations for a new national minimum wage in Nigeria have hit a standstill, with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) expressing disappointment over the government’s proposed N48,000 minimum wage, which they consider insufficient. Labour leaders, including Joe Ajaero, the NLC’s National President, have criticized the proposal as insulting and inadequate compared to the private sector’s minimum wage of N78,000.

Ajaero stated,

“Government’s proposal of a paltry N48,000 as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.”

One of the key issues raised by labour is the lack of substantiated data from the government to justify their offer, leading to a breakdown in trust and credibility in the negotiation process.

In response, the NLC and TUC have chosen to withdraw from negotiations to avoid a reduction in wages. However, they remain committed to advocating for the rights of Nigerian workers, urging the government to reconsider its stance and approach the negotiation table with a fair and realistic offer that reflects the value of workers’ contributions.

Vice President Shettima, representing the government, has urged the committee to expedite their resolution and submit their reports promptly. The 37-man committee, chaired by Goni Aji, former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, has been tasked with recommending a new national minimum wage.

Public hearings held across Nigeria saw stakeholders proposing varying minimum wage figures, with the NLC and TUC suggesting between N447,000 to N850,000. This reflects the need for a minimum wage that addresses the economic challenges and high cost of living faced by Nigerian workers.

The NLC and TUC’s call for fairness, transparency, and a living wage demonstrates their commitment to improving the well-being of Nigerian workers. As negotiations continue, there is hope for a mutually beneficial resolution that ensures a fair and sustainable minimum wage.


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