N48k minimum wage proposal abysmal, it can’t buy a bag of rice — TUC

N48k minimum wage proposal abysmal, it can’t buy a bag of rice — TUC
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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says the N48,000 minimum wage
proposed by the federal government is “abysmal”.

 

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on
Wednesday, Festus Osifo, president of the TUC, said N48,000 cannot buy a bag of
rice in the market.

 

On Wednesday, a meeting called by the federal government to
discuss the national minimum wage ended abruptly after leaders of organised
labour staged a walk-out.

 

During the meeting, the federal government proposed N48,000
as the new minimum wage, while the organised private sector proposed N54,000.

Leaders of organised labour were furious that the federal
government failed to provide a breakdown to support its proposal.

 

Labour has repeatedly proposed N615,000 as the acceptable
minimum wage given current economic realities.

 

Speaking on the development, Osifo said the federal
government is not serious with the negotiation.

 

The TUC president said the federal government failed to
factor in inflation and other economic challenges confronting the citizenry.

 

He added that if the federal government failed to continue
the negotiation on the new minimum wage, organised labour will no longer guarantee
industrial harmony in the country.

 

“Before President Muhammadu Buhari left office, the least
person in the federal ministry was actually earning N42,000,” he said.

 

“If you now factor in the wage award of N35,000 that was
given, N42,000 plus N35,000 will give us N77,000. So, as of today, what the
least federal government worker earns is N77,000.

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 “So, the question
that we now ask is that if the least federal government worker is earning
N77,000, why are you now coming to present N48,000? It does not just make any
sense.

 

“If you look at the value of N48,000 today… when we
negotiated N18,000 in 2011, it could buy more than two bags of rice. N30,000 in
2019 could buy at least one and half bag of rice.

 

“N48,000 today cannot buy a bag of rice. How can a man
survive with N48,000?

 

“We will communicate to Nigerians because what they have put
on the table is completely abysmal in this era of inflation and economic
challenges.”

 

A 50kg bag of rice currently sells for between N75,000 and
N85,000, depending on the variety.

 

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