The president of the National Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has said that the Federal Government should consider paying N1 million as monthly minimum wage to Nigerian workers if the inflation and exchange rate continue to worsen.
Ajaero made this statement on Sunday in an interview with Arise Television, where he explained the rationale behind the Labour’s demand for a new minimum wage that reflects the country’s economic conditions.
According to him, the current minimum wage of N30,000, which was implemented in 2019, is no longer realistic and sufficient for the workers, given the soaring price of food items and other essential commodities.
He also said that the initial proposal of N200,000, which was made by the Labour in 2020, is no longer tenable, as the value of the naira has depreciated significantly against the dollar and other major currencies.
“This N1 million may be relevant if the value of the Naira continues to depreciate; if the inflation continues to depreciate. The demand for Labour is equally dependent on what is happening in society,“ Ajaero said.
“You will remember that by the time we contemplated N200,000, the exchange rate was about N900. Today, the exchange rate is about N1,400 or even more.
“Those are the issues that determine the demand, and they are equally affecting the cost of living, and we have always said that our demand will be based on the cost of living index.
“You’ll agree that a bag of rice is about N60,000 to N70,000. Foodstuff is getting out of reach. Now, will we get a minimum wage that is insufficient for transportation, even for one week?
“We have to factor in all these issues. And that will determine the federal government’s commitment to these negotiations.”