The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has raised concerns over the potential necessity for organized labor to demand a significant increase in the minimum wage for Nigerian workers, suggesting it could reach as high as one million naira.
In an interview with Arise TV, Ajaero highlighted the changing economic landscape, pointing out that previous considerations for a minimum wage of ₦200,000 were based on a different exchange rate scenario, which has since drastically shifted. With the continuous depreciation of the naira and escalating inflation, Ajaero emphasized that the NLC may find itself compelled to push for a much higher wage to accommodate the rising cost of living.
Ajaero emphasized that labor’s demands are rooted in the prevailing socioeconomic conditions and the cost of living index. He stressed the urgency of addressing these issues and ensuring that Nigerian workers are fairly compensated for their labor.
Expressing disappointment in the delay in constituting the new minimum wage committee by the federal government, Ajaero noted that time is running out for negotiations. Despite the committee’s formation, he lamented the lack of progress, indicating that there might be insufficient time for meaningful discussions and consensus-building before the current minimum wage expires.
Ajaero’s remarks underscore the challenges facing Nigerian workers amidst economic instability, raising important questions about the adequacy of wages in meeting basic living standards.