Labour Demands $200 Monthly Wage
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, has revealed that based on the current economic realities in the country, an average worker in Nigeria should get a minimum of 200 dollars monthly.
“The least paid worker in Nigeria should get a minimum of two hundred dollars. It’s not even up to ten dollars a day. I am not talking of ten dollars per hour, it’s not up to ten dollars a day. So, if you even put it at seven dollars a day, that was at the international…”
Recall that the organised labour suspended its planned indefinite strike on Tuesday, October 3, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the federal government over a series of demands.
In an interview with Vanguard, Ajaero while speaking said “But even if you bring it to the cost of living index and then you decide to situate it; look at transportation, if we assume that a worker doesn’t have a car, we assume he will enter three drops to work, we assume that he will enter three drops back, N2,000 is settled minimum if he doesn’t enter bike to get to where he is living because none of our workers lives in the city centre.
“Now, if you look at this N2,000 for thirty days, you are seeing almost N60,000 or even N50,000 if you want to remove the weekend. You look at his accommodation. Since he’s living in the fringes, you can give him close to N20,000, if he must live in two two-room apartments or whatever in a decent place for him and his family, that one is settled. Now you look at feeding.
“Even if you put him on one loaf of bread, husband and wife with four children, one loaf of bread in the morning, no tea, no sugar, situate it about N1,000. You look at their lunch, even if you give them N200 per lunch, you are going to get another N1,000. You can equally look at their dinner at N200 without meat, for thirty days, that is almost N3,000.
“For thirty days, you have about N90,000. If you add N90,000 to almost N60,000 we already have about N150,000. Now, I am not talking about school fees. If you look at school fees for four children, even if they are in kindergarten, there is no way you will not have almost N200,000. Now if divide that N200,000 by three months and that makes up a term, you will be having about N65,000.
“You have already passed N200,000. You are doing all these things that the children and the wives and others are not even entering motor to anywhere, you are doing this thing because they will not be sick throughout that period, you are doing this thing that they will not even eat meat or any diet.
“You are doing all these things that they will not wear clothes whichever way. So, if you go to the cost of living index, you will discover that N200,000 cannot even sustain that family. But it will sustain them by the time you do one or two things.
“If what we are pushing, the CNG or even electric whatever, if you bring down transportation cost, if you have an effective transport system, you bring down transportation cost, then you are talking. If you have a school system that guarantees free education, it will bring down that cost, if you have a healthcare facility, that would have taken care of the health of such people, then N200,000 can work,” the NLC president said.
Ajaero further that, “But if you don’t have any of these, even that N200,000 will be a mess. But we are equally looking at that N200,000 based on what the mysterious economists are talking about that you need to bring inflation and whatever down. So, all things being equal, that’s the only way you can do it without creating unnecessary inflation but, at least, they could be able to go to the market.
“These things I mentioned, there is no soap for them to bathe, there is no toothbrush, there are no clothes, there is nothing. So, you can see that that is the actual projection, plus or minus. So, that’s what is going to inform our decision. So, whether you are going to look at it from an inflationary trend or the cost of living index, the reality cannot bring it less than N200,000.”