NLC Release Criteria for Determining New Minimum Wage

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Kabir Inuwa, Kano State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, released criteria for determining the new minimum wage on Thursday at the North West Public Hearing on the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage, which was held at the Coronation Hall, Government House in Kano.

The chairman, speaking on behalf of the North West leadership of the Congress, said it should be determined through a comprehensive assessment of the current economic conditions, inflation rates, and the basic needs of workers and their families.

In a recent interview on Arise TV, Joe Ajaero, the National President of the NLC, hinted at the possibility of pushing for a minimum wage as high as N1 million should the current inflationary trends persist. The statement underscored the dire economic straits many Nigerian workers find themselves in and the urgent need for wage adjustments reflective of the realities on the ground.

Kabir revealed that the Nigeria Labour Congress has proposed N485,000 as the new minimum wage for workers. Another top official of the NLC, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, revealed that the figure being considered based on proposals from state chapters would likely stand at N500,000.

Kabir said the proposed MW was necessary considering the dynamics of the national economy. His statement read in part:

“It is imperative to propose a new minimum wage that reflects the cost of living and ensures a decent standard of living for workers.

“The proposed new minimum wage per month should be determined through a comprehensive assessment of the current economic conditions, inflation rates, and the basic needs of workers and their families.

“The Congress is of the opinion that for any minimum wage to achieve its purpose, it must reflect the realities of the economic situation and accordingly assess the least amount of income that would be sufficient for the survival of a family of six,” Inuwa said.

According to him, the estimated monthly expenditure per household (comprising father, mother, and four children).

The NLC boss noted that the Minimum Wage Act has provided all the protection required to ensure compliance.

“This may be initiated by an individual or trade unions. The lack of awareness of the existing laws constitutes rampant contravention of the law, most especially by some state and local governments. If the labor unions can initiate a mechanism to explore the provisions of the law, they would record minimum defaults.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the intervention of the federal government to ensure compliance by withholding all allocations to any state or public institution that contravened the minimum wage law.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, says there are preparations by the government to announce a new minimum wage for civil servants.

The SGF made this known while representing President Bola Tinubu in Abuja on Thursday at the flagging off of a new presidential initiative for women’s empowerment. 

He said, “Things will begin to change as more compressed natural gas (CNG) buses make their way to the country and as we prepare for a new minimum wage.”

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