Nigerian labor leader says new minimum wages to boost economy

LAGOS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) – The proposed workers
minimum wage will boost Nigeria’s economy rather than trigger inflation, a top
official with the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) said Thursday.

The assertion that an increase in workers’
salary would lead to inflation was not true, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC’s president,
said in oil rich city of Asaba, Delta State.

“It is not true and has no empirical
basis that an upward review of minimum wage would trigger inflation in the
country,” he added.

“This is because when the minimum wage
was increased in 2011, in fact, the inflation rates went down,” he said.

He blamed the challenges being faced by the
people on high cost of governance in the country.

On the ongoing wage negotiation, Wabba called
on government and employers of labor to respect the will of the workers.

Labor union leaders are asking the federal
government to raise the national minimum wage from 18,000 naira (50.07 U.S.
dollars) to 56,000 naira, citing the current economic realities, especially the
high rate of inflation in the country.

The 18,000-naira minimum wage was approved
when the naira was exchanging at 145 naira to the dollar, and it has been
unchanged for over eight years.

The naira now stands at around 360 to the
dollar on the parallel market.

The Nigerian government said it will reconvene
a meeting of the 30-member tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee for the
negotiation of a new minimum wage.

The committee was set up by Nigerian President
Muhammadu Buhari in November 2017. 


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