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Last One Year Not Quite Interesting For Nigerian Workers – TUC President

Osifo argued that the minimum wage which currently stands at N30,000 has lost its value when compared to 2019 when the law to increase the wage was put into place.


 

President General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Festus Osifo has said that the last one year was not fascinating for the average Nigerian worker. 

Comrade Osifo who on this Monday being the International Worker’s Day, was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the various levels of difficulties and hardship faced by workers in the last year, made it quite uninteresting.

Osifo argued that the minimum wage which currently stands at N30,000; has lost its value when compared to 2019 when the law to increase the wage was put into place.

He explained that because the nation consumes mostly things produced from beyond its shores, one would have to weigh the minimum wage against the value of the dollar today, as to fully comprehend the hardship that the average Nigerian worker has gone through, especially within the last year.


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“If you check that 30,000 naira as at then (2019), if you check the value, thirty thousand could give you like 2, 3, 4 bags of rice, but today, where are we relating to that?

“We spend naira but literally every thing we consume, we import, so when you check the value of that 30,000 naira as at then when the dollar was somewhere between 300 and 350, if you check it then the minimum wage was approximately $100. But today, if you marry that viz-a-viz what is happening in the parallel market, then it is somewhere around $50, so what this means is that the exchange rate has actually affected the value of the naira which literally determines the purchasing power in the market.

“Today we are in real crisis,” Osifo buttressed.

The TUC President further asserted that today the purchasing power of the average Nigerian worker has depleted, adding that this is why the TUC and other sister bodies have been clamoring for a change in the duration it takes for government to review minimum wage, which in Nigeria’s case is five years.

According to him, with a high spate of inflation averaging 20 per cent each year, the Nigerian’s worker’s salary cannot remain stagnant.

He said what the Union is advocating is that as it is done in every other industry in Nigeria, there is a 2-year CBA negotiation, with salary adjustments considered within the same time frame. This practice Osifo said should be carried out more frequently to ensure that the Nigerian worker is not depleted.