In the face of the immense inflation that has ravaged Nigeria’s social and economic status quo, there has been a major uproar as regards the need for an increase in the country’s minimum wage to suit the price surges. Prior, Nigeria’s minimum wage was averaged at N28,000 per month and recently reached N30,000 after the Federal Government’s approval in 2019. However, the minimum cost of living which has overtime risen above the minimum wage has caused a major catastrophe, where most workers have been unable to attain their ends meet.
On this, the federal government has again assured the Nigerian workers that it would swiftly commence the process that would ensure the implementation of an approved new wage bill before May 2024. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President who was standing as the special guest of honor at the 13th quadrennial delegates conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which held in Abuja, was critical in blaming the elite class for their roles in always playing up the negative aspects of Nigeria’s diversity.
NLC expresses fear of serious crisis if FG does not address the challenges.
He pointed out that rather than laying blamed on the masses, it was the upper class that must accept that ethnicity and religion should not play a poignant role in shaping the country’s affairs. The Vice President further encouraged workers against being discouraged by the predicaments they have faced in their struggle for improved welfarism and a better olive option, noting that the power of the people could or should never be ignored. The Nigeria Labour Congress however expressed fear in regards to the likelihood of a serious crisis if the government does not address the economic and social challenges caused by the fuel and naira scarcity.
Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, whilst addressing the workers, disclosed that the federal government was in the process of reviewing the N30,000 minimum wage. He applauded the outgoing administration of the congress and its methods in protecting the interests and welfares of all workers. He explained that the outgoing congress leaders were audible during the National Minimum Wage Negotiation which led to the National Minimum Wage Act 2019, where the country’s minimum wage was reviewed. He indicated that the Congress’ leaders also attained the outflowing Consequential Adjustment for All Public Servants.
Present situation in the country described as overtly unbearable.
With the tightrope situation that the country has been caught in, the NLC described the present situation as overtly unbearable. The Outgoing President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, emphasized that the organized Labour was concerned about the imposed labour that the masses have had to face as a result of the finance and energy policies. He criticized the government’s policy of limiting withdrawal amounts from legitimate bank accounts. He also lamented about the issue of fuel scarcity.
Mr. Wabba however reemphasized the position of the Congress to resist any attempt at the withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products or the privatization of public owned health and education sectors. On the plight of workers, Wabba indicated that the present inflation had rendered the salaries of most workers useless. He then called on the government to review the Minimum Wage Act whilst criticizing the pay inequality within the civil service. He said that the social sector in the country needs swift intervention, especially the health and educational sector.
No need for championing privatization of the education sector.
The Outgoing NLC president indicated that the present stream of leaders were majorly products of free and quality education and as such, no need for championing privatization of the education sector. He further explained that the privatization of education would further deprive more people of quality education, as a result of the increased price. He also indicated that the medical tourism race was really underwhelming and thus, urged the federal government to improve the medical sector by providing needed and technologically advanced facilities.
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