The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress,Joe Ajaero,has expressed concern over the continuous surge in inflation, hinting at the possibility of pushing for a new minimum wage of up to N1 million for Nigerian workers.
Ajaero in a recent interview with Arise News, emphasized that the demand for this substantial increase is influenced by the rising cost of living, attributing it to various factors, including the removal of fuel subsidy and other economic policies implemented since President Bola Tinubu assumed office.
Highlighting the impact of the depreciation of the Nigerian currency, Ajaero pointed out that the exchange rate has surged to about N1,400 or even more per dollar.
He underscored that the demand for a higher minimum wage is intricately tied to the economic conditions affecting the society.
Ajaero drew attention to the impending expiration of the current minimum wage by April and criticized the delayed formation of a committee by the Federal Government for negotiations.
He expressed skepticism about the efficiency of the committee, citing concerns about its members, some of whom are governors not consistently implementing the existing minimum wage.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to implement a 16-point agreement signed in October 2023, aimed at mitigating the impact of petrol price hikes and naira devaluation, both the NLC and the Trade Union Congress issued a 14-day strike notice last week.
The notice, effective from February 9, 2024, urges the government to fulfill its obligations outlined in the agreement within the stipulated timeframe.
As the negotiations loom, the organized labour is grappling with the challenge of ensuring that the new minimum wage adequately addresses the hardships brought about by economic policies affecting the cost of living, petrol prices, and currency devaluation.
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