The Nigerian Labour Congress Is Asking Federal Government To Make 496k The Minimum Wage…

By Sebh Markson

The Federal government is bargaining for 60,000 naira. As beautiful as the demand from Labour looks, the labour has only factored themselves in the equation. The labour has forgotten that whatever they agree with the Federal Government would be adopted by State governments, Local government, the private sector, and the Small and medium enterprises as minimum wage. Some years back, Minimum wage was pegged at 30k, aside the federal government, how many states and local governments have implemented the 30k policy? Most local governments in Nigeria haven’t been able to make it up to the 30k policy implementation, they are still owing salaries, and the Labour unions have paid deaf ears. Most of the leaders of Labour do not work in the local government and even if they do, they are not in the cadre of people earning less than the minimum wage so it is not their business. Making fresh demand as at when due is good, but holistically following up to full implementation of the previous demand is proper as well. Now to the issues of the fresh demand made by Labour. If you say federal government should pay 496k as minimum wage, how many states can afford this, which LGA can afford this, can the private sector and SMEs afford this?Are you not already launching the nation into unemployment and crippling the economy? From what I understand about working systems. A nation that has basic functional amenities may tend to have their shit together one way or the other even if not to the stand expected, but least to a considerable standard. What do we use money for? To pay bills like Medicals, house rent, transportation, buy food, NEPA, school fees, etc and live a good life. If labour prioritizes most of these demands as concern for their members, we wouldn’t be demanding for 496k minimum wage. But the reality is from the meagre salary of the workers, they have to spend huge on medial, borrow to pay rent, power, transportation etc. A functional rail system cutting across cities will ameliorate the transportation issues, and help in the movement of goods and commodities at a cheaper, faster and safer means, this will also impact on sales of goods and services, but we do not have that. Good and quality road networks will reduce and enable people live in areas their income bracket can afford good houses and work in the cities because transportation wouldn’t be a problem. If the health sector is functional, there are ways in which certain personalities can be considered and discounted for medicals and they wouldn’t spend all they earn on treatmentsIf the educational sector is functional, workers won’t bear the pain of paying huge amounts to private schools for their children to get basic education. The money we increased ends up going into utilities, labour knows what to demand other than minimum wage, the welfare of the workers doesn’t only end with money, good working condition, job security, goof standard of living for workers is part of itYear to year we get to demand for increase salaries, increase minimum wage but our lives still get bad and worse. We continue to pretend, we continue to sink.

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