Ajaero: How organised labour arrived at N615,000 minimum wage


NLC President Joe Ajaero

By Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero has explained how organised labour arrived at the minimum wage of N615, 000 it placed before the committee set up to determine the new minimum wage for workers in the country.

Ajaero told Channels Television on Wednesday that the Organised Labour has agreed on N615,000 as the living wage for civil servants given the current economic situation in the country.

He added that the N615,000 is a living wage that will keep workers alive and will not make them poorer or borrow to go to work.

He added that the N615 is also a wage that will ensure workers are not in the hospital every day because of malnutrition.

The President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Festus Osifo, has also recently confirmed that organised labour has agreed on N615,000 minimum wage.

“The negotiation by the Tripartite Committee is still on going. If you remember, the TUC earlier submitted N447, 000 as the new minimum wage but we have harmonised our figure with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) .

But he said the N615,000 demanded by the organised labour is not sacrosanct.

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“If you look at the N615. 000, you will think that the amount is right, but at about the time we did that computation, a dollar was about N1, 700.

On how the organised labour arrived at the figure, Ajaero said: “We have housing and accommodation of N40,000. We asked for electricity of N20,000 — of course that was before the current tariff increase. Nobody can spend this amount currently. We have utility that is about N10,000. We looked at kerosene and gas that is about N25,000 to N35,000.

“We looked at food for a family of six, that is about N9,000 in a day. For 30 days, that is about N270,000. Look at medical, N50,000 provided there will be no surgery or whatever.

“For clothing, we looked at N20,000. For education, N50,000. I don’t know for those who tried to put their children in private school, they will not be able to cope with this amount. We also have sanitation of N10,000.

“I think where we have another bulk of the money is transportation. This is because the workers stay in the fringes and because of the cost of PMS, that amounted to N110,000.

“That brought the whole living wage to N615,000 and I want anyone to subject this to further investigation and find out whether there will be any savings when you pay somebody on this rate.”

A 37-member tripartite committee on minimum wage set up by the Federal Government is chaired by former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Aji, with other members drawn from the Federal Government and State Governments, the Private Sector as well as the Organised Labour.

Vice President Kashim Shettima said the setting up of the minimum wage review committee is a reaffirmation of President Bola Tinubu’s desire to motivate the nation’s workforce which he describes as the cornerstone of the administration

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