N250,000 Minimum Wage Without Mass Layoffs Feasible – NLC

N250,000 Minimum Wage Without Mass Layoffs Feasible – NLC
  • PublishedJune 13, 2024

The Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted that there will not be mass sacking of workers in the country if the new minimum wage is pegged at N250,000 by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

The federal government on Wednesday warned organised labour to consider the broader economic implications of its push for an unrealistic higher national minimum wage.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who handed down the admonition, hinted that the N250,000 minimum wage demanded by labour could undermine the economy, lead to mass retrenchment of workers and jeopardise the welfare of Nigerians.

However, during a telephone conversation with SaharaReporters on Thursday, NLC spokesperson, Comrade Benson Upah, said the government was not sincere about its assertion when it claimed that labour leaders were pushing for unrealistic demands.

READ: Minimum Wage: MURIC Warns NLC, TUC Not To Strike On Sallah’s Eve

He said: “Our response to the minister’s assertion of mass sacking is that it possibly cannot be true. The figure speaks for themselves. The allocation account has moved from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion.

“The reserves have just moved up. These point to the fact that the government, the federal, the state and the local government, are getting richer by the day while the people are getting poorer.”

The NLC spokesperson added that he was certain the private sector would be able to pay the N250,000 demanded by the union.

He added: “The private sector has always performed better in terms of payment of wages. Consistently they have been ahead of the public sector.

“The second point is that we have made the point that there should be an intervention in the private sector by the government about the toxic effects of government policies on the private sector. One of them is the reduction in the energy tariff.”

OSUN DEFENDER earlier reported how the leadership of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress rejected the new ₦62,000 proposed by the government.

In a statement signed by its Acting President Prince Adewale Adeyanju on Wednesday, the NLC reaffirmed their demand for a minimum wage of N250,000, noting that there had been no compelling reasons to change the position which they considered a significant concession from Nigerian workers.

The NLC stressed the need to inform the President, Nigerians, and stakeholders that those who briefed him on the outcome of the tripartite negotiations did not accurately represent the situation.

“We reiterate that it will be extremely difficult for Nigerian workers to accept any national minimum wage figure that approximates to a starvation wage. We cannot be working and yet remain in abject poverty,” the NLC stated.

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