South-East NLC, TUC propose N540,000, N447,000 as new minimum wage


Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC)

By Alex Enebeli

The South-East chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have proposed N540,000 and N447,000 respectively as new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The organised labour of NLC and TUC made the proposal during the South-East Zonal Hearing organised by the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage on Thursday in Enugu.

Speaking on behalf of the NLC in the Southeast, Comrade Fabian Nwigbo, the Chairman, NLC Enugu State Chapter, noted that the value of N30,000 minimum wage of 2019 had been eroded by inflation.

According to him, if you consider what is going on in the country today, one won’t be talking about minimum wage anymore.

Nwagbo described the situation as very “unfortunate” saying that if one compared the minimum wages being paid in West African countries, Nigeria workers were the least paid.

“For us, we want to propose based on the prices of commodities in Nigeria. In 2019 when we had N30, 000 minimum wage, a paint bucket of garri was N280, rice and beans were about N450 each while fuel was N145.

“This has continued to subsist till today where a litre of fuel is now N750 to N800 depending on the location.

“In the current state, a paint bucket of rice is over N4000 and garri N2,500.

“While two bedroom flat in Enugu that used to be N250, 000-N300,000 is over N650,000 at the suburb and in the city it stands at N1.2 million yearly.

“Everything is moving up except salary paid to civil servants.

“We are praying the leadership of this country to consider the pains and sufferings of the Nigeria workers and citizens and give us something that is close to what we can use to survive,” he appealed.

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Giving a breakdown of the proposal, the chairman added that a family of six with daily feeding of N2000 each, would have N12,000 and in 30 days it would be N360,000.

“We have also put hospital bills at N20,000, education N40,000, utility, N10,000, clothing N30,000, social engagement and other things at N10,000 per month.

“If you put them together, you have N540,000 which will do a little good to the workers of Nigeria and so we are proposing N540,000 as new minimum wage for civil servants, he said.

He called for review of minimum wage law every two years, saying that the issue of five years was no longer fashionable as well as leaving as leaving minimum wage in exclusive list.

The labour leader, however, called for impeachment of any governor that failed to implement new minimum as well as the extension of the wage to the pensioners whom he said put in their active lives in service.

“Once it is approved, every governor and Council Chairman should start paying it across board. The issue of workers going to negotiate with their state governors should not arise,” he said.

In his submission, Comrade Ben Asogwa, Chairman, TUC Enugu Chapter, said that the zone aligned with the N447,000 proposed by the TUC national leadership.

“It is small to what Nigeria workers expect but we are concerned on its implementation if more is requested, given the economic factors and indices. Any governor that refuses to pay should leave office,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Tommy Etim, Chairman of the event and Deputy National President one, TUC, said it was a mark of honour for them to have engaged in a sensitive assignment on National minimum wage.

Etim however, expressed displeasure on the absence of representatives of the Civil Societies, Nigeria Union of Pensioners and others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that none of the governors or their representatives from the zone attended the hearing including Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra who is the Chairman of the event and Member of the Tripartite Committee. (NAN) (

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Maureen Atuonwu

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