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NLC poised to demand N500,000 minimum wage amid economic uncertainty

Public Hearings Begin as Labour Proposes Wage Adjustments and Economic Realignment

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As the zonal public hearings on Nigeria’s new wage structure commence today in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and Abuja, organised labour is anticipated to advocate for a minimum wage of N500,000, signaling a response to the country’s economic challenges.

According to a senior official within the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who spoke with The Punch, proposals gathered from state chapters suggest a push for the new wage threshold, reflecting the need to address the rising cost of living exacerbated by inflation.

Intelligence gathered by Abuja Politico indicates that the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, will chair the North-East meeting held in Yola, Adamawa State, while the South-West hearing, hosted in Lagos, will be presided over by the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun.

President Bola Tinubu’s administration inaugurated a 37-member panel tasked with recommending a new national minimum wage, signaling the government’s recognition of the pressing need for economic adjustments in light of prevailing challenges.

Though specific figures have yet to be deliberated upon formally, Ajaero previously hinted at the possibility of advocating for a wage as high as N1 million if inflation trends persist unchecked.

In a bid to present a united front, state chapters of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have also voiced their concerns, with demands ranging from N150,000 to N300,000, aligning with the broader objective of ensuring workers’ rights are upheld amid economic uncertainty.

While labour leaders strategize for a cohesive approach across Southwest states, regional representatives stress the importance of maintaining solidarity with the national body, signaling a concerted effort to address workers’ concerns and negotiate fair wages.

As the nation grapples with economic complexities and political deliberations, the outcome of these public hearings could shape the future trajectory of wage policies, serving as a litmus test for the government’s commitment to addressing socio-economic disparities nationwide.

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