• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Minimum wage: NLC accuses government of making empty promises

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly criticized President Bola Tinubu’s recent claim that the review of the minimum wage was about to happen. In a statement released Monday night, the NLC pointed out that the review is scheduled for 2024, as mandated by the law. The Congress also expressed disappointment over the lack of cooperation and dialogue from the Tinubu administration towards organized labour.

In the statement signed by its national president, Joe Ajaero, the NLC expressed concern that while President Tinubu praised the private sector for quickly increasing employee wages, the government still needs to do the same for public workers. This discrepancy sets a double standard, as the government needs to meet the standards it expects others to adhere to.

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Ajaero highlighted Nigerian workers’ challenges due to hyperinflation and the removal of petrol subsidies. With the minimum wage review pushed to 2024, workers are left struggling to cope with the current economic hardships.

Furthermore, Ajaero lamented that organized labour had to negotiate with empty chairs on the government’s side. The promised firm commitment to negotiate in good faith with delivery has yet to be matched by actions. As a result, the sub-committee responsible for wage awards has yet to be inaugurated or convened.

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The NLC urges the government to honour the timeline for the minimum wage review and engage in meaningful discussions with workers’ representatives. Delaying the review further could worsen the financial difficulties faced by the working class in Nigeria.

Speaking further on the negotiations, Ajaero said, “Organized Labour has been forced to negotiate with empty chairs on the Federal Government’s side as it has not matched its public promises with a firm commitment to negotiate in good faith with labour. The sub-committee on wage award has not been inaugurated or met.”