NLC Warns: Refusal to Implement N60,000 Minimum Wage Could Trigger National Crisis


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has firmly rejected the claims made by state governors, represented by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), that they cannot afford to implement a N60,000 minimum wage. Labour leaders caution that this refusal could plunge the nation into a severe crisis.

Representing the NLC, President Joe Ajaero accused the governors of misrepresenting their financial capabilities, stating, “Nothing could be further from the truth. FAAC allocations have increased from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, significantly enriching the governments while neglecting the people’s welfare.”

In a statement titled “Save the Country from a Certain Death,” Benson Upah, NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, urged governors to reduce the high cost of governance, curb corruption, and prioritize workers’ welfare.

“We are alarmed by the statement from the Nigeria Governors Forum that states cannot afford a N60,000 minimum wage, with some claiming they would need to borrow to pay workers monthly. This claim is disingenuous and in bad faith, especially during ongoing negotiations,” the statement read.

The NLC emphasized that a national minimum wage sets a baseline below which no employer can pay, aiming to protect the most vulnerable workers. They argued that the N60,000 figure is necessary due to inflation and the devaluation of the naira, which has drastically reduced the real value of the current minimum wage.

“At the time the N30,000 minimum wage was established in 2019, the exchange rate was N300 to $1, equating to roughly $100. Now, with the exchange rate at N1,600 to $1 and inflation at 33.7%, the minimum wage’s value has plummeted to $37.5 for a family of six,” the statement highlighted. “This devaluation, coupled with a 400% increase in costs following fuel subsidy removal, severely impacts the poor.”

The NLC criticized government policies, including fuel subsidy removal, significant devaluation of the naira, a 250% hike in energy tariffs, and a 26.5% rise in interest rates, as harmful to the economy and the manufacturing sector.

“The economy’s downward trend will continue unless the capacity of workers and businesses is enhanced. Paying a meager minimum wage endangers not just the workforce but the entire national economy, as many state economies rely heavily on workers’ wages,” the NLC warned.

In conclusion, the NLC urged the governors to reconsider their stance to avert a national crisis.

Mike Ojo

World Food Safety Day: Expand Access to Healthy Food, Prioritise Effective Food Policies to Improve Public Health, CAPPA Urges Govt.

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