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Explainers - Profiles - October 9, 2018

Nigeria’s New Minimum Wage – Govt insist on N25,000

There’s been a stalemate on negotiations as the Nigerian government has said it cannot afford more than N25,000 per month although Labour and Organised Private Sector (OPS) have agreed on a N30,000.

Hence the talks between Government, labour and Organised Private Sector has been halted.

A nationwide industrial action was carried out by Labour between September 27 and 28, before it was suspended that same weekend, September 30 as a result of the Federal Government’s failure to present a figure at previous meetings and subsequent adjournment without a resumption date.

However, dissatisfied with the Federal Government’s figure an unwillingness on the part of government to increase the wages of workers in the midst of crushing economic hardships, organised Labour and OPS reached an accord, increasing earlier figure of N25,000 to N40,000.

Speaking in Abuja recently, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Ayuba Wabba, explained that the committee used two days to gather again and discuss on a new minimum wage figure that was acceptable to all employers of labour in the country.

He said: “I want to assure workers that all had been concluded and will be passed for signing within the week. …I also want to appreciate Organised Private Sector, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, for their resolve to pay the new minimum wage when it is signed into law.”

The NLC president, however, refused to disclose the figure arrived at by the Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage.

Wabba said the Presidency would make it public after deliberation by the National Economic Council.

Earlier in 1981, under the Shehu Shagari’s administration, the Federal Government introduced a minimum wage of N125 per month. By 1989, General Ibrahim Babangida’s government increased it to N250.

The increase continued with the General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s administration, which  increased the minimum wage to N3,000 in 1999. Followed by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in 2000, the minimum wage was raised to N5,500 for states and N7,500 for federal workers and those from oil producing states.

President Goodluck Jonathan then increased the minimum wage to N18,000 in 2010/2011.

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