We Are Not Going On Strike – NLC Declares

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has declared that organized labour will not go on strike tomorrow regarding the current new minimum wage dispute with the government.

Ajaero explained that labour will not strike yet because the figures are currently on the table of President Bola Tinubu, and feedback is being awaited.

Speaking on Monday at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Ajaero cited examples from previous administrations, noting that it is still possible for the President to increase the proposed figure before him.

He referenced the immediate past President, who increased the proposed minimum wage from ₦27,000 to ₦30,000, expressing hope that the current President will also do the right thing.

However, Ajaero criticized Governors who have declared they can’t pay the proposed ₦62,000 new minimum wage, labeling them as lazy. He argued against the decentralization of the minimum wage, pointing out the disparity between states’ contributions to the national purse and their internally generated revenue (IGR).

He highlighted Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who is paying a ₦70,000 minimum wage, as an example of a governor to be emulated. Ajaero questioned why other governors, whose states contribute less, should be unable to pay the proposed minimum wage.

In his words, “We cannot declare a strike now because the figures are with the President. During the tenure of the immediate past President, the figure proposed to him was ₦27,000 by the tripartite committee, but he increased it to ₦30,000. We are hopeful that this President will do the right thing.

The President had noted that the difference between ₦62,000 and ₦250,000 is a wide gulf.

How can any governor say he cannot pay? They cannot also be calling for the decentralization of the minimum wage.

Are there wages decentralized? Governors whose states are not contributing a dime to the national purse and who generate pitiable Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) are collecting the same amount as governors whose states are generating billions of dollars into the FAAC.

They should decentralize their salaries and emoluments first. So, where is the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, getting his money from? He is paying a ₦70,000 minimum wage. This is the type of governor that should be emulated and not the lazy ones.”