N615,000 Minimum Wage Payable By Governors — NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has argued against assertions that State Governors can not afford to pay the proposed N615,000 minimum wage.

The NLC argued that Governors can live to the obligation if they get their priorities right.

The president of the NLC, Joe Ajaero stated this in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday.

When asked if organised labour’s proposal of N615,000 is realistic, Ajaero said the amount is the “most realistic” considering the inflation in the country.

The NLC president said organised labour considered factors like transportation, housing, and feeding before arriving at the newly-proposed minimum wage.

Ajaero said, “If you are talking about being realistic, the N615,000 demand is the most realistic. Being realistic is not about slave wage.

“However, N30,000 is big money if inflation is brought down, and at a single digit.

“Look at the indices that create inflation. If you check them, you can talk about being realistic. All other factors in the country are going high and wages remain constant.”

Asked if states can afford the N615,000 proposal, the NLC president averred that it is not about ability to pay but the priorities of states.

He said, “I think we need to understand the issues of ability to pay and not getting the priority right,” he added.

“Most of the states that have shown willingness to pay the current minimum wage are not among those getting the highest revenue.

“During the time of Muhammadu Buhari, some states were declared not having enough money to pay and he released funds for them to pay.

“Those states still refused to pay. It is not the question of either the quantum of money that they have or not, it is what they decide to do with such money.

“If they get their priorities right, then a lot can happen.”

The organised labour submitted that the new minimum wage should be pegged at N615,000.

The proposal came amid ongoing minimum wage negotiations between federal and state governments on one hand, and organised labour on the other.

The organised labour has threatened to embark on a strike if a new minimum wage is not announced before May 31, 2024.

The last review of the minimum wage was in 2019, when the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari pegged the national minimum wage at N30,000.

Despite the review, some states have failed to implement the increment till date.