In an exclusive interview with Arise TV on Sunday, NLC President Joe Ajaero expressed grave concerns over the Nigerian minimum wage and the escalating inflation rate, and the continuous depreciation of the national currency.
Ajaero elaborated on the factors driving the potential surge in wage demands, emphasizing that the relentless devaluation of the Naira and soaring inflation rates directly influence their propositions.
He underscored the correlation between wage demands and the prevailing economic conditions, noting that previous wage negotiations were based on similar economic indicators.
Highlighting the dire situation, Ajaero pointed out the significant disparity between previous wage negotiations and the current state of affairs.
He emphasized the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities such as rice, which now fetches between ₦60,000 to ₦70,000 per bag, making it increasingly difficult for the average worker to afford necessities.
The NLC President cautioned that failure to address these pressing issues could lead to dire consequences, including widespread discontent and potential strike actions.
With looming strike threats, the organized labour, comprising the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC), is scheduled to convene with federal government representatives today to seek resolutions following a 14-day strike ultimatum.
The unions accuse the government of reneging on previous agreements, particularly regarding temporary wage awards for workers. Ajaero highlighted the government’s failure to fully implement the ₦35,000 temporary wage increase for federal workers, which was initiated in October 2023.
He also raised concerns about the alleged non-disbursement of ₦25,000 palliatives to workers and the absence of evidence of fertilizer distribution to farmers.
Against this backdrop, the current minimum wage of ₦30,000 appears increasingly inadequate, especially in light of the prevailing economic challenges.