President of the National Labour Congress, (NLC) Comrade Joe Ajaero, has urged the Federal Government to consider N1 million as minimum wage if inflation and other economic indicators worsen.
Ajaero gave the suggestion during an an interview with Arise Television on Sunday, February 12th, noting that the new minimum wage must reflect the country’s economic conditions.
He expressed the belief that as long as the dollar keeps rising against the naira, the demands for a higher minimum wage will be inevitable.
The NLC president explained that the initial N200,000 minimum wage proposal which was reviewed to N400,000, is no longer tenable given the soaring price of food items and inflation.
He said the organized Labour is meeting with the Federal Government on Monday to discuss resolutions around the 14-day strike notice issued by the NLC and Trade Union Congress.
Ajaero said; “This N1 million may be relevant if the value of the Naira continues to depreciate; if the inflation continues to depreciate. The demand for Labour is equally dependent on what is happening in society.
“You will remember that by the time we contemplated N200,000, the exchange rate was about N900. Today, the exchange rate is about N1,400 or even more.
“Those are the issues that determine the demand, and they are equally affecting the cost of living, and we have always said that our demand will be based on the cost of living index.
“You’ll agree that a bag of rice is about N60,000 to N70,000. Foodstuff is getting out of reach. Now, will we get a minimum wage that is insufficient for transportation, even for one week? We have to factor in all these issues. And that will determine the federal government’s commitment to these negotiations”.