Labour Revises Earlier Proposal, Deems ₦200,000 Minimum Wage Unattainable

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has revised its earlier proposal of a ₦200,000 minimum wage, deeming it unrealistic in light of the country’s current economic challenges. NLC’s National Vice President, Tommy Etim, highlighted the impact of increased socio-economic challenges and currency devaluation on the initial proposal. The NLC now plans to base its negotiations on the prevailing economic reality, refraining from specifying a fixed amount.

In response, Vice President Kashim Shettima inaugurated a 37-man Minimum Wage Committee, emphasizing prompt deliberations and collaboration among federal and state governments, the private sector, and organized labor. President Bola Tinubu urged the committee to consider the ability of all parties to sustain the new wage and ensure timely completion of their task. The President expressed commitment to improving workers’ welfare, emphasizing the importance of social justice and equity in determining the minimum wage.

While Governor Mohammed Bago expressed optimism about the committee’s work, Vice President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Humphrey Ngonadi, highlighted concerns that a wage increase might be ineffective if not accompanied by efforts to control the rising prices of essential commodities. The 37-member committee comprises governors, ministers, and representatives from various sectors.

Overall, the NLC’s reassessment underscores the need for a pragmatic approach to minimum wage negotiations, considering the dynamic economic landscape and the challenges faced by workers.