Nigeria Labour Congress may demand N72,000 as new minimum wage
• Outrage as govt slates implementation for third quarter
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) may be demanding N72, 000 ($200) equivalent as new minimum wage.
President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the minimum wage struggle, which began in Nigeria in 1981, was predicated on $200.
This came as workers jeered at the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, upon announcing the third quarter of the year as the commencement date of new minimum wage.
At the 40th anniversary celebration of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja yesterday, the pronouncement did not go down well with the workers who shouted ‘No, No, No’.
The announcement of the date, which falls within June and September 2018, five months to the general election in February 2019, was a failed attempt by the minister.
Ngige said: “Well, we all know the economic situation of the country as at today. The negotiation committee has members from all the tripartite bodies which means government cannot force its way. The committee has received memoranda from all the critical stakeholders and should begin the implementation of a new minimum wage in the third quarter of this year.”
In his address, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the minimum wage struggle, which began in Nigeria in 1981, was predicated on $200, which means that labour movement would not be demanding less than that at N360 to one dollar. Therefore, labour may be demanding N72, 000 ($200) equivalent.
Wabba explained: “It was Pa Michael Imoudu that started the struggle for a living wage started through his Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA). But the struggle for a negotiated minimum wage started in 1981 when labour agreed for equivalent of $200. Today, we cannot agree for less because the cost of living is high and naira has been grossly devalued which therefore means that we cannot agree for something that is not within that range.”
Wabba also warned those he referred to as working against the realisation of the minimum wage within government, that labour would resist their antics.
Giving a hint on the readiness of labour movement in Nigeria to participate fully in political activities in 2019, Wabba said NLC would move to resuscitate the Labour Party with a view to providing a veritable platform for labour activists to seek elective positions.
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