The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly proposed for an upward review of the current National Minimum Wage from N18,000 to N56,000.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba stated that the organised Labour had made a formal demand of the new wage of N56,000 to the Federal Government for debate.
He said it was imperative that the government should set up the tripartite committee for the review of the new minimum wage, considering the economy challenges which affect the purchasing power of Nigerians.
The NLC President said: “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.
“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.”
“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.”
“If manufacturers are producing and nobody is buying, the economy will be at a standstill because people lack the purchasing power to buy.
“So, these are some of the issues we will be pushing forward at the negotiation table and there must be a tripartite committee to look at the challenges.”
Mr. Wabba recalled that the last review of the national minimum wage was done in 2011 and that the setting up of a tripartite committee to review the newly proposed national minimum wage was long overdue.