New Minimum Wage: NLC, TUC Told What to Look Out For

  • The minimum wage has become the topic of the day, especially as the federal government and organised labour are yet to reach a conclusive agreement
  • Amid the quest by the NLC and TUC, organised labour has been urged to consider something reasonable enough that small businesses can offer
  • Okanlawon Gaffar, an analyst, who spoke with TheTalk.NG, posited that small businesses and SMEs should be considered in whatever the labour are requesting so that the economy would not be ruined

Controversies over the new minimum wage have continued to dominate the media following the government’s failure to meet organised labour’s demand for the lowest amount that should be paid to Nigerian workers.

Amid the quests by organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), the unions have been urged to consider small businesses in their demands.

The organised labour have been urged to considered something reasonable and affordable for small businesses and SMEs in their request for a new minimum wage.Analyst explains why small businesses and SMEs should be considered in fight for a new minimum wage
Photo Credit: @officialABAT, @NLCHeadquartersSource: Twitter

Okanlawon Gaffar, a legal practitioner who spoke with TheTalk.NG in an exclusive interview, said the minimum wage is not only about what the government can pay but also about what small businesses can pay.

Why NLC, TUC should consider small businesses

The lawyer noted that though the country’s inflation is high, the cost of living, particularly food, should not be considered, and a minimum wage that would not be favourable to the survival of small businesses should not be considered.

He said:

Before a new minimum wage is agreed upon, small business stakeholders and SMEs need to be consulted because the minimum wage is not limited to what the government can pay but also what small businesses can pay.

Therefore, it would be unreasonable to fix the minimum wage at an amount that small businesses cannot realistically afford. Whether it is N500,000 or N100,000, it has to be reasonable.

Of course, we understand that there is inflation in Nigeria, and what N10,000 was worth last year is not the same as it is this year.

Purchasing power has really gone down, and we have seen it in the prices of commodities, particularly foods, but still, asking for an unreasonable minimum wage from the government and expecting it to be implemented, I think it is foolery on the side of the Nigeria Labour Congress

Minimum Wage: Labour speaks on N494,000 demand

TheTalk.NG earlier reported that Festus Osifo, the president of the TUC, said organised Labour was aware that everybody would not pay their N494,000 demand for the minimum wage.

Osifo posited that the government knew organised labour was not fixated on its demand for the new minimum wage.

The TUC president then stated that their negotiations were based on certain principles, such as inflation and exchange rates.

Source: TheTalk.NG

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