The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that no wage in the country must go below N66, 500 per month.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at a public hearing on new minimum wage, Chairman of the Congress, FCT Council, Amaechi Lawrence Uchechukwu, described the current N18, 000 minimum wage as a ‘death wage’ under the current economic realities.
“I have a joint memorandum prepared by the NLC and Trade Union Congress which has been submitted to the tripartite committee. Let me ask this: can N18,000 pay your house rent in Abuja or in any part of the country? Can you pay your children school fees with it? Is it a living wage or dead wage? It is indeed a dead wage.”
He argued that the prevailing economic realities in the country dictated labour demand for N66, 500.
“That is why the NLC has decided that our demand is to be paid N66, 500 as new minimum wage, no more no less. Minimum wage of N18, 000 since 2011 cannot take workers anywhere. So, without further delay, Labour is saying that the Federal Government should adopt this position.”
On his part, the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said setting a national minimum wage is to provide a floor under which no employer can fall.
He argued that minimum wage is not about states paying same figure but that no state can pay below, saying, “minimum wage is not about an equal wage across the states of the federation. The idea of a minimum wage is that while employers can pay higher, they cannot pay lower than the minimum wage and this also applies to the private sector.”