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Politics

Why We Won’t Accept ₦100,000 As Minimum Wage — Organised Labour

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Organised Labour has said it would reject the Federal Government’s offer of 100,000 as the new minimum wage because it has the capacity to pay more.

It also asked the government to be serious with negotiations on the issue of workers’ wages, insisting that it used the lowest minimum in arriving at N615,000 as the new minimum wage.

The NLC Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, made this known in an interview over the weekend.

Recall that Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) , and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) pulled out of the negotiation meeting last Wednesday when the government offered N48,000 as the new minimum wage.

However, the chairman of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, Alhaji Bukar Goni, in a letter to Organized Labour calling a meeting to be held tomorrow, indicated interest that the government would shift ground and asked organised labour also to shift ground.

Speaking to Vanguard in Abuja, Upah said organised labour will honour the invitation tomorrow but advised the government to be serious.

The NLC spokesman also asked the federal government to perish any thought of offering N100,000 as the new minimum wage.

He said: “Our expectations are that government should be serious this time around. We expect them to take more seriously the issue of wages of workers.”

On whether labour will accept N100,000 as insinuated in some qusrters, he said: “Well, it will not be fair and these are the reasons. The first reason is that when we demanded N615,000, we broke that down. In fact, we used the barest minimum.

“For instance, we put accommodation at N40,000, we also use for feeding N500, tell me where you are going to get food for N500 with a family of six. As I said, we used barest estimates but beyond that, government hiked electricity tariff by two hundred and fifty per cent after we made our demand and that has introduced costs and expenses.

‘’So if the government is serious, it should not be thinking about one hundred thousand naira. You know that when you create poor citizens, you create a poorer country.”

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