New Minimum Wage Negotiations Emphasize Cost of Living, NLC Prepares Data-Driven Demand

New Minimum Wage Negotiations Emphasize Cost of Living, NLC Prepares Data-Driven Demand

Organized labor is gearing up for upcoming minimum wage negotiations in Nigeria, with a strategic focus on demanding wages aligned with the country’s cost of living and various socio-economic indicators. The move comes amid the Federal Government’s commitment to settling outstanding arrears from the N35,000 wage award owed to its workers.

Sources reveal that labor representatives are diligently working to construct a wage demand that can withstand scrutiny from both government and private sector employers. The cornerstone of this demand will be the comprehensive consideration of the cost of living and other socio-economic factors across the nation.

To ensure a data-driven approach rather than one based on sentiments, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued directives to its state councils nationwide. The councils are tasked with collecting detailed cost of living data from towns and local government areas using specially designed forms. NLC’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, stressed the critical role of state councils in gathering accurate information, emphasizing that the success of the negotiations hinges on the thoroughness and accuracy of the data.

In a circular dated January 17, 2024, titled “National Minimum Wage Negotiation – Data Collection: Urgent Action Required,” Ugboaja urged state councils to promptly conduct research and collate vital information. The collected data, summarized using provided forms, will be sent to the national headquarters to assist the Congress’ National Minimum Wage Negotiating Council in its deliberations.

Recognizing the urgency, NLC encourages leveraging online platforms for efficient and streamlined data collection, aiming for submission before the end of January 2024.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, reassured workers that the Federal Government is committed to fulfilling agreements with trade unions. She confirmed progress in paying the N35,000 wage award, assuring that the outstanding amount will be settled within a short period.

As stakeholders prepare for negotiations, the emphasis on accurate data collection underscores a commitment to transparency and fairness in determining the new minimum wage.

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