Don’t plunge nation into monumental crisis, Labour tells govs

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly rejected claims by state governors under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) that they cannot afford to pay the proposed N60,000 national minimum wage.

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In a statement titled “Save the Country from a Certain Death”, the NLC accused the governors of being dishonest about their financial resources. The NLC argued that “nothing can be further from the truth as FAAC allocations have since grown from N700 billion to N1.2 trillion, making the governments extremely rich at the expense of the people.”

The NLC urged the governors to cut the high cost of governance, minimize corruption, and prioritize the welfare of workers in order to be able to pay a reasonable national minimum wage. The labor union contended that the current minimum wage of N30,000 has become grossly inadequate due to the high inflation rate and currency devaluation.

According to the NLC, the N30,000 minimum wage was equivalent to around $100 in 2019 when the exchange rate was N300 to $1 and the inflation rate was 11.4%. However, with the current exchange rate of N1,600 to $1 and an inflation rate of 33.7%, the real value of the minimum wage has declined to just $37.5 for a family of six.

The NLC warned that the government’s policies of fuel subsidy removal, currency devaluation, energy tariff hikes, and interest rate increases will continue to hurt the economy and the poor. The union urged the governors to reconsider their position and save the country from an impending crisis.

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