Ahead of 2018 Workers Day on May 1, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called on state governments to pay the proposed N65, 500 national minimum wage to Nigerian workers.
The union made the call recently in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, during a public hearing of the tripartite committee on national minimum wage for the North Central zone.
The one-day public hearing was organised with delegations from Kogi, Plateau and Nasarawa states in attendance. Speaking at the occasion, Kogi state Deputy Governor and leader of the North Central delegation, Simon Achuba, said his state was ready to pay the new minimum provided that the revenue allocation from the federal government improves.
“We want the federal government to increase the distributable amount from the federation account to all tiers of government, especially thestate and local governments,” he said. However, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the excuse by state governors that they could not pay the proposed wage due to fall in financial resources was not tenable, insisting that, with the high infl ation rate and its impact on goods and services, there was no way the N18, 000 wage could cater for the well-being of Nigerian workers.
“N18, 000, as far back as 2011, was almost $140. Today, the current exchange rate is either N350 or more to a dollar. So, in reality, there is no way we can wish away the inflation rate that has taken away the value of N18, 000,” he said. Comrade Ayaba further stated that there was need for state governments to pay workers the proposed national minimum wage of N65, 500 in order to be able to face the prevailing economic situation in the country