Nigerian Labour Congress Rejects Government's Plan for New Minimum Wage Announcement in May

Nigerian workers reject government's unilateral minimum wage plan, demand collaborative approach and better welfare amid economic challenges. Ongoing negotiations and disputes over wage issues could impact economic stability.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Nigerian Labour Congress Rejects Government's Plan for New Minimum Wage Announcement in May

Nigerian Labour Congress Rejects Government's Plan for New Minimum Wage Announcement in May

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the government's plan to announce a new minimum wage in May, citing infeasibility. The NLC argues that the current economic conditions make it difficult to implement a new minimum wage at this time.

NLC leaders state that the government has not been able to keep its promises, and that the announcement of a new minimum wage should be the result of a tripartite process, which is still ongoing. They say the president cannot unilaterally announce a new minimum wage, and that any such announcement would be an addition to what the minimum wage committee decides.

The workers are demanding better welfare and working conditions, and have called for four industrial actions in the past year to protest the rising cost of living and the government's inaction. The workers say the government's policies of subsidy removal and naira floatation have left them impoverished and disoriented.

Why this matters: The rejection of the government's plan for a new minimum wage announcement highlights the ongoing economic challenges faced by Nigerian workers and the need for a collaborative approach in addressing wage issues. The outcome of this dispute could have significant implications for the welfare of workers and the country's overall economic stability.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has also raised concerns over the delay in paying workers' wage awards for March and April 2024, with some states like Benue, Anambra, Imo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, and Katsina lagging behind in remitting the wage awards. The TUC criticized the recent increase in electricity tariffs, stating that there should have been stakeholder engagement before the decision.

The NLC and TUC have jointly proposed a new minimum wage of N615,000 per month, reflecting a compromise in the face of economic challenges. However, the federal government is considering a lower range of N150,000 to N200,000 as the template for further negotiation.

TUC President Festus Osifo emphasized that empowering the working class is the only way to inflate the economy, as it would increase the purchasing power of the people. He also called for the review of the obsolete labor laws in the country.

"The negotiations on the new minimum wage have not been completed, and the government needs to fast-track the process," Osifo stated, lamenting that some states in the Niger Delta region have not paid the wage awards or provided palliatives to their workers.

Key Takeaways

  • NLC rejects govt's plan to announce new minimum wage, cites infeasibility.
  • NLC says new minimum wage should be result of tripartite process, not unilateral.
  • Workers demand better welfare, call for industrial actions due to rising cost of living.
  • NLC and TUC propose N615,000 minimum wage, but govt considers lower range.
  • TUC calls for empowering workers to inflate economy, review of obsolete labor laws.