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May 22, 2024

Minimum wage: N54,000 falls short of what Nigeria should be paying — TUC 

Minimum wage: N54,000 falls short of what Nigeria should be paying — TUC 

President of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Festus Osifo speaking on Channels Television.

By Miftaudeen Raji

The Trade Union Congress, TUC, said the proposed N54, 000 by the Federal Government falls short of what Nigeria should be paying.

The President of TUC, Festus Osifo stated this in an interview with Arise Television.

Recall that the Federal Government had previously proposed the sum of N48,000 for minimum wage.

This was rejected by the trade union because it was “ridiculous,” leading to a meeting on Tuesday for a new proposal where the sum of N54,000 was suggested. 

Speaking on the development, Osifo said the Tuesday meeting was held with the expectation that the proposal will be “something reasonable.” 

He said the N615,000 was a negotiation strategy by the union, saying that “you don’t go into negotiation with your barest minimum, after looking at all factors then you add markup to it so you have room for adjustment. The N615,000 submitted was a strategy.”

Osifo highlighted the remarkable difference between the minimum wage of 18,000 naira in 2011, and the suggested 54,000 naira in 2024, using the value of dollar and consumer purchasing power.

He said, “2011 when N18,000 was passed as the minimum wage, what was the value of USD?  In 2011, N18,000 using an exchange rate of about 140-145 will give you about  $125, which when converted today will get you close to N200,000.

“What that means is what N18,000 could buy in 2011 you will need almost N200,000 to buy it today.”

Osifo said one of the reasons the meeting held today made no progress and was rescheduled, was due to the absence of the 6 state governors, and lack of mandate by 2 who were represented. 

“We asked them if they had any mandate and they said no, so we adjourned the meeting to 4pm on Wednesday,” he said.

He urged the governors to be present for the meeting on Wednesday and recognise that they “are not here to play and the Nigerians workers are waiting for the outcome of this conversation.”

Osifo said regardless of the presence of the governors at the meeting tomorrow, “as long as the federal government is seated we are going to move forward but not with the N54,000 they have presented to us.”