The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has explained how the new minimum wage would be negotiated. He disclosed that $140, which was the equivalent of N18, 000 minimum wage in 2011, would be used in the process. Wabba spoke yesterday at the 60th anniversary of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
According to him, it was crucial because N50, 400 is the current value of $140, going by the current exchange rate of 360 to one dollar. He said: “We think that it is only reasonable to demand a wage that can sustain the working class. We are aware that the value of our national currency has gone down. This is why it is appropriate to base our negotiation on that.”
Also, NECA President, Larry Ettah, said the crowding out of the private sector has affected employment and discouraged entrepreneurship and wealth creation. He stressed that access to credit has also been hampered, as government seeks funds to cover budgetary deficits, which has led to the emergence of a rent-seeking economy.
He also identified high interest rate as the bane of doing business in Nigeria, saying, “The current dispensation of high interest rate is clearly negative to growth and development.
“Our concern here is the need for managers of our economy to appreciate that high interest rate is antithetical to growth and must be backed by sound fiscal and monetary policies to bring it down to single digit.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma explained that the cumbersome regulatory framework had slowed down the privatisation process. Udoma explained that the newly launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) were conceived to drive the economic revival and put the country on the path of sustainable growth.
Meanwhile, the NLC yesterday disrupted the operations of Egypt Airlines at the Aminu Kano International Airport. This followed its alleged non-payment of 10 per cent of the workers’ annual increment since 2016.
The union besieged the corporate headquarters of the airline on Murtala Mohammed Way, as well as its MAKIA office as early as 7:00 a.m. The General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Olayinka Olu Abioye told journalists that the picketing became necessary after the management neglected several notices and reminders.
The Chairman of the Kano State branch of the NLC, Kabiru Ado Mingibril, said the union would not tolerate any form of injustice and maltreatment of workers. Efforts to speak with the management of the airlines were unsuccessful, as the officers in charge explained that they were not authorised to speak to the media. Both parties later resolved to settle the matter amicably. The Guardian obtained an interim agreement, jointly signed by the representatives of NLC and the management of the airlines.