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 Ex-Von DG To Labour Leaders: N615,000 Minimum Wage Unrealistic

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As the six hundred and fifteen thousand naira (615,000) minimum wage demand by leaders of Labour unions in Nigeria continues to generate mixed reactions, the

The Immediate past Director General of Voice of Nigeria VON, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has advised them to go for mortgage housing, one of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, to avoid stagflation which will wipe out social welfare policies, saying the demand is unrealistic.

“Especially when some states had blatantly refused to pay N30,000 and the Nigerian Governors Forum had frowned on 25% and 35% increase recently approved by the Federal Government.

“Whereas, one agrees with the working people that the neoliberal policies like fuel subsidy removal is no doubt taking its toll on our living conditions; however unrealistic minimum wage is not a better deal than mortgage housing for all, one of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as the core take away from fuel subsidy removal quagmire. “Okechukwu retorted.

Going further Okechukwu, opined that to avoid the dire economic consequences of the stagflation which N615,000 minimum wage will trigger off; central to Labour’s collective bargaining should be mortgage housing for all, affordable health and education facilities and channeling of funds to mass transport infrastructure of CNG and Electric Vehicles, not unrealistic minimum wage difficult to implement under stagnated economy already at the lowest ebb of growth.

Reacting to the labour demand via a press statement he issued Sunday, the ruling All progressive  congress Chieftain said that “experience and meaningful economic indicators gazette that N615,000 minimum wage will further debilitate the living conditions of workers, escalate gross unemployment, and reduce purchasing power parity of the same vulnerable working class, making nonsense of the Labour proposal.

“It will be recalled that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) issued Press Statement on May 2, 2024, endorsed by the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, where they stated how it took them painstaking efforts and wide consultations to arrive at the N615,000 minimum wage family monthly upkeep as proposed inter alia:

The breakdown is as follow: , Housing – N40,000; Electricity – N20,000; Water – N10,000; Kerosene/Gas – N35,000; food – N270,000; Medical – N50,000; Clotting – N20,000; Education – N50,000; Sanitation – N10,000; Transportation – N110.000

Okechukwu agreed that the basket tabulation of monthly family upkeep proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress is appetizing; but urged Labour to rejig their collective bargaining strategy to fire-up and compel President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to retool his mortgage housing program, which will better soften the prevailing economic hardship.

“It is my humble opinion, since necessity is the mother of invention that labour should instead of unrealistic minimum wage, demand as a matter of urgent national importance from President Tinubu; that a greater percentage of fuel subsidy removal accruals be utilised for mortgage housing which will benefit the greatest number of working people across federal, sub-national units, the formal and informal private sector.” Okechukwu submitted.


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