LP To NLC: Negotiate Realistic Minimum Wage

The Labour Party (LP) in has advised workers’ unions to renegotiate a new minimum wage with the government rather than taking strike action. Mr Obiora Ifoh, the Labour Party’s National Publicity Secretary, made the request during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.

His response follows the nationwide strike by organized Labour. According to Ifoh, the strike was not an option because it would cause more hardship and suffering.

“Our immediate reaction is that the organised labour should not throw Nigerians into more hardship.

“Nigerians are already grappling with a lot of challenges and we do not need to exacerbate the situation.

“I think the demand for N494,000 minimum wage is unrealistic. It is really unrealistic.

“It is a figure that cannot be sustained because it will imply that Nigeria will take all that money it has to pay the civil servants,” Ifoh said.

Ifoh urged the labour union to continue to engage the Federal Government on a figure that would be acceptable to both parties.

“Negotiation should continue until they get something better.

“Asking Nigerian workers to stay at home will affect everything, including the cost of living and Nigerians cannot afford that now.

“Negotiation is not a one-off thing.

“If the Federal Government is not willing to go above N60,000 minimum wage, I think that the Organised Labour should work with what is available while it continues to negotiate.

“We know this government has not gotten it right. It is still trying to test the waters,” the LP spokesman said.

The NLC industrial action came after a series of failed negotiations with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), and government authorities. 

On May 28, labour representatives walked out of the Tripartite Committee meeting on the minimum wage when the government raised its offer from N57,000 to N60,000. The government and private sector proposed ₦48,000, ₦54,000, and N57,000, but labour rejected all of them.

The organised labour requested a new minimum wage of ₦615,000, which was eventually reduced to ₦497,000 and then ₦494,000 due to growing living costs.

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