Minimum Wage: Labour To Reject N100,000 Proposal By Nigerian Govt As Negotiations Continues On Tuesday 

New Minimum Wage: Labour Union To Unveil Fresh Proposals At Meeting With Nigerian Govt Today

4 weeks ago
2 mins read

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will continue its negotiation for a new minimum wage at the federal government Tripartite Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

Both the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are expected to present fresh proposals as part of efforts to reach an early compromise.

Currently, the federal government is proposing a minimum wage of N57,000. In contrast, organized labor has revised its demands, reducing the initial request from N615,000 to N497,000. A top NLC official revealed, “We will unveil a new proposal at the Tuesday meeting, but we are keeping this figure secret for now.”

Last week’s meeting saw participation from several governors, including Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, with Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State attending via Zoom.

Journalists’ Minimum Wage Proposal

In a related development, NLC President Joe Ajaero, during his visit to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) headquarters in Abuja on Monday, emphasized the union’s interest in negotiating a uniform salary template for practicing journalists. Ajaero highlighted the essential contributions of journalists to the country’s democratic processes but lamented their ongoing neglect and the risks they face.

“Journalists have played a crucial role in the battle for the restoration of democracy, yet they continue to suffer neglect despite the sacrifices they make,” Ajaero stated. He criticized the poor welfare of journalists, describing them as an “endangered species.”

“As journalists, we advocate for everyone, but nobody advocates for us. There are media houses that haven’t paid salaries for almost a year. We need to meet and talk about these issues,” he added.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage Debate: NECA Warns Labour Union Of Business Collapse Over N400,000 Demand

Ajaero proposed the establishment of a consultative body to negotiate with media employers on a minimum wage or industry salary benchmark for journalists every two years. This benchmark would cater to journalists employed by the federal government, state governments, and the private sector.

Challenges Facing Journalists

The NLC president also called on the NUJ to collaborate with the labor movement to address the challenges journalists face. He pointed out that despite technological advancements, the practice of journalism in Nigeria has deteriorated in terms of security and welfare.

“Despite the new technology, the practice of journalism in Nigeria is getting worse in terms of security and welfare. Journalists are in a peculiar situation because no one negotiates for them,” Ajaero noted. He also criticized the recent treatment of journalists by security agents, stressing that the freedom of the press should not be hindered by the government.

“Where a journalist runs afoul of the law, they should be prosecuted according to the law, not kidnapped,” he said.

NUJ’s Response

Welcoming the NLC president and his delegation, NUJ National President Chris Isiguzo commended Ajaero for recognizing the key challenges facing the media profession in Nigeria. Isiguzo appealed to the organized labor to consider journalists’ interests during protests for workers’ welfare.

He discussed the regulation of the media profession, particularly the emergence of online media outlets and the issues of poor remuneration. Isiguzo revealed that the NUJ is proposing the establishment of a National Ombudsman for the media to regulate the profession and address issues of poor pay. Additionally, the NUJ has proposed an accompanying Bill of Rights to protect the rights, welfare, and interests of practicing journalists.

The ongoing discussions on the new minimum wage and the specific focus on journalists’ welfare underscore the pressing need for comprehensive reforms to improve the living conditions of workers across various sectors in Nigeria.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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