The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly asked President Muhammadu Buhari to triple the minimum wage of workers to N56, 000 per month.
The current national minimum wage is N18, 000, and raising it by another 200 percent would bring the wage to N54,000 – just N2,000 less than the NLC proposition.
Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, made this disclosure at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
“I can say now authoritatively that as of yesterday (Tuesday) we made a formal proposal to the Federal Government of N56, 000 to be the new minimum wage,” NAN quoted Wabba to have said.
“The demand has been submitted officially to government and we hope that the tripartite system to look at the review will actually be put set up to look at it.
“Our argument is that, yes, it is true that the economy is not doing well, but the law stated that wages for workers must be reviewed after every five years.
“So, the issue must be looked into by the Federal Government and workers should not be seen as sleeping on their rights.”
NLC said it is imperative that the government sets up the tripartite committee for the review of the new minimum wage.
“You also know that when we negotiated the N18, 000 minimum wage, the value in terms of exchange rate at that time was almost at N110 to the dollar.
“But as at today, the value of the naira to the dollar has been reduced; and there are the issues of inflation and purchasing power, among others to contend with.
“So, it also about the law of the review of the wage, the law envisaged that within a circle of five years, there must be a review.”
Issa Aremu, former vice president of the NLC had said the minimum wage was an equivalent of N50,000 in 1981, adding that the NLC was going to make this proposal.
“The first minimum wage was N125 in 1981, at the exchange rate where naira was about twice the value dollar. That came to $250 in nominal terms today; multiplied by N200, that comes to N50,000,” he had said.
He revealed that NLC was preparing a document to request at least N48,000 as minimum wage very soon.