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NLC Responds To Nigeria Governors Forum On National Minimum Wage Affordability

NLC Responds To Nigeria Governors Forum On National Minimum Wage Affordability

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has responded to the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) ‘s inability to afford to pay N60,000 as the minimum wage earlier proposed by the federal government, stating that “the governors acted in bad faith.”

It said it believes the governors acted in bad faith because it was unheard of for such a statement to be issued to the world during an ongoing negotiation.

NLC, in a press statement over the weekend, signed by the Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, stated that as for the veracity of NGF’s claim, “all that the governors have to do to be able to pay a reasonable wage is cut down on the high cost of governance, minimise corruption, and prioritise the welfare of workers.”

The NLC, considering that state governments’ FAAC allocations had increased from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, expressed that such an increase makes the governors extremely rich at the people’s expense.

The NLC added, “We are not fixated with figures but value. Those who argue that moving the national minimum wage from N30,000 to N60,000 is sufficiently good enough miss the point.”

The NLC cited the 2019 naira-to-dollar exchange rate when the minimum wage was still N30,000.

“At the time, the exchange rate was N1,600 to $1 while inflation hovers at 33.7% (40% for food). This puts the value of the minimum wage at $37.5 for a family of six.

“This happened when the costs of everything rose by more than 400% due to the removal of fuel subsidies. This is terrible news for low-income people.

“The government’s policies of fuel subsidy removal, mindless devaluation of the Naira, energy tariff hike by 250% and interest rate hike by 26.5% will continue to hurt the economy (especially manufacturing sector) and low-income earners,” he stated.

Hence, NLC urged the governors to rethink and save the country from a “certain death,” noting that workers’ wages drive state economies.

Meanwhile, the union, which comprises NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has reduced its demands from N494,000 to N250,000 “following the N62,000 proposed by the tripartite committee as the new minimum wage” last Friday, an adjustment from the initial N60,000.

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