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In anticipation of discussions regarding the updated national minimum wage, organised labour has suggested a living wage of $300 for Nigerian Workers.

They contend that the existing minimum wage of N30,000 has significantly diminished due to the elevated exchange rate and the sudden elimination of the fuel subsidy, leading to a heightened cost of living in the country.

The presidency had on Tuesday inaugurated a 37-man committee to review the national minimum wage.

Comrade Benjamin Anthony, representing the Chairman of the Trade Union side at the Joint Meeting of the National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), conveyed the organised labour’s stance during the 2023 meetings of the Separate and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council in Goshen City, Nasarawa state.

Secretary of the union, Comrade Boma Mohammed, expressed concern about the Federal Government’s recent salary payment delays, emphasising the need to address this issue promptly to prevent a recurrence and alleviate the current hardships faced by the people.

He said: “In light of the above, Labour has proposed a Living Wage of $300 for Nigerian Workers. This is due to the fall in the value of our currency, today if you carry N100,000 to the market you will come back with a leather bag of items.

“We call on the government to immediately pay the arrears of the N35,000 wage award along with the current and expedited action on the process of getting a new living wage to bring succour to the working class people.”

Anthony expressed concern about the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS), highlighting the distressing issue of third-party deductions, such as cooperative and union dues, not reaching beneficiaries on time.

He emphasised that this delay has hindered the functioning of various organisations, leading to challenges in paying staff salaries, pensions, and insurance.

Anthony urged the government to promptly release and disburse these funds to alleviate the hardships faced by workers.

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and meeting convener, encouraged organised labour leaders to adopt a dialogue-based approach in their interactions with the government.

She emphasised the importance of peaceful engagements to achieve stability and enhance productivity in implementing government policies. She enjoyed for constructive discussions and ongoing communication between organized labour unions and the government.

Yemi-Esan, represented by Dr Kemi Adeosun, the Director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare (SWO) in the OHCSF, was optimistic that the positive outcomes of these meetings would contribute to sustaining a stable and purpose-driven Public Service in the nation.

Meanwhile, all hands were on deck to ensure the improvement of the national minimum wage as the incumbent government promised.On Tuesday, January 30, Vice President Kashim Shettima inaugurated a 37-man committee to oversee the revision of the minimum wage. These committees included federal and state government representatives and organised labour.

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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