July 16, 2024

Minimum Wage Review Sparks Disagreement: FG and NLC Clash Over Annual Adjustment


By: Emmanuel Ibitoye

Divergent views emerge as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) advocates for an annual review of the minimum wage, tied to inflation and the value of the naira. NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, emphasizes the need for continuous adjustments to counter the impact of rising inflation on workers’ purchasing power. Meanwhile, the federal government maintains a stance grounded in current economic realities, sustainability, and public interests, opposing the idea of an annual review.

This debate unfolds at the 2nd National Labour Adjudication and Arbitration Forum, where discussions center on strengthening tripartism and social dialogue for a sustainable industrial relations system in Nigeria. The upcoming expiration of the current N30,000 minimum wage by March 2024 adds urgency to the deliberations.

Ajaero highlights workers’ dissatisfaction with the poor implementation of the previous wage award, expressing concern that the promised N35,000 minimum wage is yet to be fully realized. He points out delays in salary payments, including Federal Government workers awaiting their January salaries as of February 13.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, counters, asserting that considerations for a new minimum wage should align with present economic conditions, emphasizing sustainability and public interests. The clash of opinions reflects broader concerns about economic stability and the welfare of Nigerian workers.

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