Organised Labour Gives FG May 31 Deadline For New Minimum Wage

The NLC and TUC threatened a showdown if a new living wage of ₦615,000 is not expeditiously approved by the President Bola Tinubu administration before the end of May.

Labour leaders Festus Osifo (second left) and Joe Ajaero (second right) at the 2024 Workers’ Day in Abuja



The Organised Labour has handed the Federal Government May 31 deadline to come up with a realistic and reasonable new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

Labour made this known during the Workers’ Day celebrations at the Eagle Square in Abuja on Wednesday.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero; and his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo were unanimous that the N30,000 current minimum wage has been grossly insufficient for Nigerian workers in the light of current economic realities and inflationary pressure including food inflation, hike in energy and transportation cost, amongst others.



They insisted that a new living wage of ₦615,000 be expeditiously approved by the President Bola Tinubu administration before the end of May.

Ajaero said, “The Nigeria Labour Congress and the TUC have made it clearly and emphatically that should the minimum wage negotiation continue and linger till the end of May, we can no longer guarantee industrial harmony in this country.”

On his part, Osifo asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and power distribution companies to immediately reverse the current increase in electricity tariff for Band A customers.

“The NLC and TUC hereby advise NERC and power sector operators to reverse the last increase in electricity tariff within the next one week,” the trade union boss said.

Nigerians mark this year’s May Day amid spiralling, and unending snake-like queues at filling stations as scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol worsens across the Federation.

Although there have been assurances by the major oil supplier in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to alleviate this issue, however, the queues have persisted for over one week.

Motorists queue up for petrol at a filling station in Abuja on Monday, April 29, 2024. Photo: ChannelsTV/Sodiq Adelakun


READ ALSO: Nigerians Mark Workers’ Day Amid Petrol Scarcity, Clamour For New Minimum Wage 

New Minimum Wage To Take Effect From May 1 – FG

The Workers’ Day event also had in attendance, the Minister of State Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Vice President Kashim Shettima.


L-R: Labour Minister Nkiruka Onyejeocha, NLC President Joe Ajaero, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and TUC boss, Festus Osifo in Abuja on May 1, 2024


Addressing Nigerian workers, Onyejeocha said although the Tripartite Committee On National Minimum Wage was yet to conclude its negotiations, workers will not lose anything as the new minimum wage will take effect from May 1, 2024.

She said it was regrettable that the new national minimum wage was not ready before the May Day celebrations but that a wide consultation is ongoing to ensure that the document is out together as soon as possible.

The President, represented at the event by his deputy, lauded the contributions of workers in Nigeria to the growth of the country.

He said the Federal Government can’t wait to receive the recommendations of the committee on the new national minimum wage.

FG’s 35% Pay Increase Mischievous — Ajaero

Meanwhile, NLC boss has described as mischievous, the salary increase of between 25% and 35% for civil servants announced on Tuesday by the Federal Government.

“The announcement appears mischievous because there is no wage increment that government is announcing,” Ajaero said earlier Wednesday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.



Ajaero said the last minimum wage of N30,000 expired on April 18 and “we should be in the regime of new minimum wage as of today. Discussions were supposed to have been concluded.”

“The Federal Government through the National Assembly legislated on it. But we saw that the discussion entered voice mail because the Federal Government refused to reconvene the meeting that was adjourned.

“I think the announcement now appears mischievous because there is no wage increase that government is announcing. For them to announce it now, it is an issue that we are worried about at the NLC and even at the TUC.”

READ ALSO: Increasing Minimum Wage Won’t Worsen Inflation, Says TUC

Earlier in January, the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-man Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage with a mandate to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for the country but the recommendations of the committtee have not been implemented by the government.

He said the current minimum wage of N30,000 can no longer cater for the wellbeing of an average Nigerian worker, lamenting that not all governors are paying the current wage award which expired in April, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The Act is to be reviewed every five years to meet up with contemporary economic demands of workers.

Breakdown Of N615,000 Living Wage

Ajaero further said the Organised Labour has agreed on N615,000 as the living wage for civil servants.

He said, “Living wage is such that will, at least keep you alive. It is not a wage that will make you poor and poorer. It is not a wage that will make you borrow to go to work. It is not a wage that will lead you to be in the hospital everyday because of malnutrition. For that living wage, we have tried to look at N615,000.

“Let me give you a breakdown of how we arrived at that figure. We have housing and accommodation of N40,000. We asked for electricity of N20,000 — of course that was before the current tariff increase. Nobody can spend this amount currently. We have utility that is about N10,000. We looked at kerosene and gas that is about N25,000 to N35,000.

“We looked at food for a family of six, that is about N9,000 in a day. For 30 days, that is about N270,000. Look at medical, N50,000 provided there will be no surgery or whatever.

“For clothing, we looked at N20,000. For education, N50,000. I don’t know for those who tried to put their children in private school, they will not be able to cope with this amount. We also have sanitation of N10,000.

“I think where we have another bulk of the money is transportation. This is because the workers stay in the fringes and because of the cost of PMS, that amounted to N110,000.

“That brought the whole living wage to N615,000 and I want anyone to subject this to further investigation and find out whether there will be any savings when you pay somebody on this rate.”