The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has proposed the possibility of demanding a monthly minimum wage of N1 million for government workers, citing the country’s skyrocketing inflation rates.
Speaking in an interview on Arise Television, Ajaero emphasized the need for a significant increase in the minimum wage due to Nigeria’s economic challenges, particularly the depreciation of the naira and soaring food prices.
He highlighted that the current economic conditions, including the exchange rate surpassing N1,400 to a dollar and the exorbitant cost of food items, make the previous proposal of N200,000 untenable.
Ajaero stressed that the new minimum wage must align with the rising cost of living, ensuring that it provides adequate support for essential needs such as transportation.
He expressed concern about the composition of the government committee tasked with negotiating the new minimum wage, questioning the effectiveness of the process given the involvement of officials who have previously failed to implement wage agreements.
The federal government had earlier announced plans to implement a new minimum wage and established a tripartite committee to determine the appropriate wage level, chaired by former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Goni Aji.
As tensions escalate between the government and organized labor, with the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) issuing a two-week ultimatum to address the food crisis, Ajaero reiterated the importance of considering the economic well-being of workers in wage negotiations.
He disclosed that discussions between labor unions and the government are ongoing, with the aim of reaching resolutions to avert potential strikes and address workers’ concerns.