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NLC rejects governors’ proposal to decide new minimum wage in their states  

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NLC rejects governors’ proposal to decide new minimum wage in their states  

The National Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the state governors’ proposal to set the new minimum wage in their respective states. 

In a statement by the spokesperson of the union, Benson Upah, NLC noted that the minimum wage is a national concept, and the state governors cannot decide what to be paid arbitrarily to their workers.  

Upah emphasized that the proposal by the governors threatens the welfare of Nigerian workers and the national economy. 

“The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is compelled to address the recent statements made by some Nigerian Governors regarding their desire to pay what they deem fit to Nigerian workers as the minimum wage.  

“This notion is not only dictatorial but also undermines the very essence as well as the model adopted for creating a national minimum wage in Nigeria. 

“The concept of a national minimum wage is not arbitrary. It represents a national wage floor, a baseline below which no worker in the law should be paid.  

“This threshold is a collective agreement that ensures a minimum standard of living for every worker in the law. The Governors’ demand to unilaterally determine the minimum wage negates this principle and threatens the welfare of Nigerian workers and the national economy,” the statement read in part. 

Backstory 

Earlier on Wednesday, the 17 Governors from the Southern part of Nigeria under the aegis of the Southern Governors’ Forum said that each state be allowed to negotiate a new minimum wage they can pay with the labour unions. 

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of their meeting held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. 

The governors said the new minimum wage should be according to the fiscal capacity of the states as not all states can pay the proposed N62,0000 monthly for their workers.  

“The Forum discussed the minimum wage issues demanded by labour and unanimously agreed that the minimum wage should be reflective of the cost of living and ability to pay, and each State be allowed to negotiate their minimum wage,” the communique partly read. 

In an earlier statement, the 36 governors had proposed N57,000 as the threshold for a new minimum for state governors, adding that they lack the ability the pay beyond that amount.  

What you should know  

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have repeatedly demanded an increase in the minimum wage from N30,000 over the past year.   

The labour unions proposed a minimum wage of N459,000, citing this amount as necessary for a worker’s survival given the current economic realities of the country. 

However, the federal government stated that it could not sustain this demand, saying it was unsustainable and would result in N9.5 trillion annually.  

Meanwhile, after much negotiations, labour settled for a N250,000 proposal while the federal government said it would pay the sum of N62,000. (NairaMetrics)

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