Committee urges NLC to consider realistic, sustainable minimum wage


NLC President, Joe Ajaero

The Committee of Youths on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to align its minimum wage demand with governments’ ability to pay sustainably.

Its Director-General, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made the call during a thanksgiving service to mark the end of the 2024 Youths’ Week at the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Nyanya, Abuja on Sunday.

The theme of the thanksgiving service was, “Promotion of Peaceful Coexistence and Religious Co-creation in our Nation”.

Nwaka said that considering the current economic challenges in the country, “the federal and state governments may struggle to pay, if the amount is unrealistic.”

According to him, the N250,000 demand as minimum wage by the NLC for workers is not sustainable, considering the country’s current financial situation.

He pointed out that Nigeria is still recovering from the economic difficulties of the past administration and warned against making promises that could destabilise the nation.

He also argued that a substantial salary increase would be insufficient if critical infrastructure and public services remain inadequate.

He advised labour to also pay attention to addressing broader systemic issues rather than focusing solely on wage increase.

“We are in the same shoes. There are other areas; labour for example can advocate for good governance; it’s not just all about minimum wage,” he added.

He called on the NLC to channel their efforts towards advocating for improved healthcare and education services, including the provisions of critical infrastructure.

This, he believes, could have a more significant impact on the quality of life of the Nigerian workers.

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“Even if they are paying you 500,000 Naira as a salary, it will not be enough, if a healthcare facility is not there; if infrastructure is not there; and if we cannot even send our children to a public school.

“The NLC should focus on motivating the government to invest in these essential sectors,” he said.

Earlier, the minister in charge, Rev. Samuel Labuja, said that the conversations, throughout the youths’ week, reflected the nation’s quest for unity and development.

Labuja advised the youths to maximise their potential and invest in self-reliance ventures, as against depending on white-collar jobs.

“The youths should understand that we can’t live together without peace, and the best we can do to make the nation move forward is to live in peace.

“Youths should learn not to depend on salary alone. They should make use of their God-given talent to earn more resources.

“Whatever you are doing, do it well to the glory of God to earn a living,” he said.

On his part, the Church’s Youths President, Mr Bobby Odia, described the week-long youths’ conference as impactful.

Odia particularly said that the youths, as leaders of tomorrow, have understood the need to contribute their resources towards the development of the country.

“We just celebrated the 2024 Youths’ Week with the theme, “Stand Firm and Take Charge”, and for us to be the future of tomorrow, we have to utilise our energy for the good of our nation,” he said.


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