How we arrived at new minimum wage – NLC 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has provided a breakdown of how the N615,000 suggested minimum wage was determined during its 2024 negotiations with the government and other stakeholders.

The president of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, stated that the statistic was the result of a meticulous attempt to portray the current situation in the country.

This is contained in a statement signed by the NLC president on Thursday, titled ‘2024 NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE NEGOTIATION: HOW WE ARRIVED AT N615,000.’

It reads : “It has become imperative at this point that we inform Nigerians who may not have known already the foundations upon which our initial demand for a N615,000 (Six Hundred and Fifteen Thousand Naira) new National Minimum Wage is based upon.

The figure was a product of a painstaking effort through which we captured the cost of living of Nigerian workers and masses in all parts of the country. It was essentially an outcome of an independent research conducted by the NLC and TUC on the cost of meeting the primary needs of an average family around the country. Our research was based on a family with both parents alive and four children without the burden of having other dependents with them.

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A questionnaire was designed and sent to all the State Councils of NLC and TUC from where these questionnaires were sent to our members in all the Local government areas in the country to gather the monthly cost of living for the average family as described above. Below is a summary of our findings and we hope that this will enable Nigerians understand what propels our demand so that better clarity is made to create better engagement around the ongoing National Minimum Wage negotiation process.

A cursory look at the table above shows that we have deliberately removed certain elements from the Basket used in calculations of this nature. However, it should also be noted that we have not included things like expenditure on calls and data, offerings in churches and Mosques, community dues, entertainment, savings and Security etc. These are therefore just for the bare necessities.

It should be noted that we arrived at this figure before the increase in electricity tariff and the recent scarcity of Petrol across the nation leading to the appearance of long queues with attendant increased transport fares. Any figure below this amount becomes a starvation wage and condemns Nigerian workers and their families to perpetual poverty.

We have to remember that the old one having expired on the 18th day of April, 2024, a new one is expected to have come into effect on the 19th day of April, 2024. However, because of government’s inability to comply with the Law that demanded for negotiations for a new national minimum wage to have begun 6 (six) months before the expiration of the existing one, concluding the new one has become unfortunately delayed.

We are sure that our social partners would see our demonstration of understanding, sacrifice and reasonableness in our demands thus accepts this figure without much delay. We also enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to implore the Government and Employers to meet our demands for the sake of justice, equity and national development.”

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