May 1, 2024

Implement minimum wage by May ending, labour tells FG


Organised labour has given the Federal Government until May to finalise the process of implementing the new national minimum wage for workers.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Joe Ajaero, made the demand on Wednesday in Abuja at this year’s edition of International Workers Day.

This year’s celebration focuses on “Ensuring Safety and Health at Work in a Changing Climate.”

Ajaero said the process of fixing a new national minimum wage was still ongoing and had witnessed robust engagements.

“All parties in the tripartite process are well represented, and the engagement has been robust.

”We have placed our demand of N615,000 only before our social partners while we await their offer.

“If, however, the negotiation of the minimum wage is not concluded by the end of May, the trade union movement in Nigeria will no longer guarantee industrial peace in the country,” he said.

Ajaero also said labour had placed a demand that the new Act would have a two-year life span with an agreement for automatic adjustments in wages any time inflation exceeded 7.5 per cent.

He said the union further demanded that every employer with up to five workers should pay the new minimum wage.

Ajaero called for the strengthening of monitoring and compliance mechanisms to penalise non-complying state governments.

He said that Nigerian workers deserved to have a national minimum wage that approximated a living wage.

“Our figures are based on objective realities around the nation and not on some fantasy; but on what confronts us as workers around the nation.

“We want to be able to buy food stuff, housing, among others.

”Any wage that is below this living wage condemns workers to starvation, ”he said.

Ajaero, however, urged workers to remain vigilant as negotiations are approaching conclusion.

”We must not let our guards down but be alert so that together we can assist government take the right decision and pay workers a living wage as promised by Mr President.

“We will not allow our interests to sabotage the desire of the president concerning a living wage for workers,” he said.

The NLC president also said that there was a need to review the Contributory Pension Scheme.

He noted that there had been complaints about the scheme, such as delay or non-transmission of contributed money to Pension Fund Administration, among others.

Ajaero also called for reactivation of gratuities for public servants.

He further called for the upward review of the retirement age in the entire public service from 60 to 65 years and 35 years to 40 years in service, just as was done for teachers and judges. (NAN)