• Labour considers N₦250,000 the minimum acceptable living wage
  • They accuse the government of ignoring the realities of the current economic climate
  • The unions are urging the government to fast-track the legislative process for a new minimum wage
  • A Tuesday deadline looms, after which labour unions will convene to decide on further action

Organised labour has disclosed its refusal of the proposed N62,000 and N100,000 “starvation wage” from the federal government, insisting that Tuesday’s deadline for the expiration of the one-week grace period stands.

Channels reports that the development was made known by Chris Onyeka, the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) while speaking on The Morning Brief Show on Monday.

According to Onyeka, the N250,000 latest demand at the last meeting of the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage on Friday, as the living wage for an average Nigerian worker stands.

He shared that labour would not accept the federal government’s offer of N62,000 and N100,000, saying, “Our position is very clear.”

“We have never considered accepting ₦62,000 or any other wage that we know is below what we know is able to take Nigerian workers home. We will not negotiate a starvation wage.

“We have never contemplated ₦100,000 let alone ₦62,000. We are still at ₦250,000, that is where we are, and that is what we considered enough concession to the government and the other social partners in this particular situation. We are not just driven by frivolities but the realities of the marketplace; realities of things we buy every day: a bag of rice, yam, garri, and all of that.”

On Tuesday’s deadline, he added, “The Federal Government and the National Assembly have the call now. It is not our call. Our demand is there for them (the government) to look at and send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly, and for the National Assembly to look at what we have demanded, the various facts of the law, and then come up with a National Minimum Act that meets our demands.

“If that does not meet our demand, we have given the Federal Government a one-week notice to look at the issues and that one week expires tomorrow (Tuesday). If after tomorrow, we have not seen any tangible response from the government, the organs of the Organised Labour will meet to decide on what next.”

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