October 24, 2021

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TUC, NLC comment on review to increase N30,000 minimum wage amid high cost of living

  • The N30,000 minimum wage approved in 2019 is no longer enough according to the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Nigeria Labour Congress
  • TUC and NLC said the economic situation has necessitated the review of the current minimum wage, but the governors refusal to pay N30,000 makes it difficult to do
  • The trade unions decried the state governors for delaying implementation of the current minimum wage considering they agreed to it

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The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the N30,000 minimum wage needs to be reviewed amid rising inflation and depreciating naira.

Leadership of both unions said the economic situation has made it necessary but considering most of the state governors haven’t implemented the new minimum wage, it’s going to be a tough call.

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They also stated that there’s a process and timeframe to effect a new review as the previous minimum wage, which was N18,000, was increased to N30,000 in April 2019.

The N30,000 minimum wage has lost value amid rising inflation and devaluation of naira. This has made TUC and NLC contemplate on another increment
Members of Nigeria Labour Congress at a protest ground. Photo: Nigeria Labour Congress HQ
Source: Facebook

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the increment into law two years ago, but many workers haven’t received the new salary as governors are resisting to implement it.

Workers are not happy

Olugbenga Ekundayo, the Chairman of TUC, Lagos State Chapter, said workers are complaining and they need palliatives to support their livelihood.

Ekundayo said the new minimum is not the total solution to the economic situation as the N30,000 was agreed post-COVID-19 without factoring economic downturn that the pandemic caused.

In a report by Punch, he stated that:

“Since the lockdown, people have lost jobs, and a lot of things have happened.”

The TUC leader added that recession and serious inflation has compounded the issue, and reviewing the minimum wage again isn’t out of place.

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“However, there are terms of engagement, there is a requirement for when or how soon the review should be.”

Ekundayo said tax incentives and other welfare activities have been requested from the Nigerian government as supplements.

Governors knocked for refusing to pay agreed wage

Funmi Sessi, the Chairman of NLC, Lagos State chapter, who also said considering a review won’t be bad, stated that the struggle to make State governors pay the current wage makes it difficult.

Sessi wondered why the governors have been refusing to implement considering the initial proposed salary was N65,000, but it was cut to N30,000 following negotiations with them.

She said the deliberations took two years before an agreement was made at the current minimum wage, which is what a family depends on for a month.

Since the increment, inflation has risen to 17.93 percent in May – a month before, it was 18.12 percent, while the naira has continued to devalue, and it’s currently officially pegged at N410.25 to $1.

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Petroleum minister wants workers, other Nigerians to pay more for fuel

Amid rising cost of living, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said Nigerians should be charged at full cost of fuel production.

Timipre Sylva stated that the Federal Government should adopt reflective market pricing which will cause the current petrol cost to rise.

He said the government should stop subsidising fuel price by removing subsidy. Sylva stated that he isn’t a supporter of fuel subsidy.

Source: Legit