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We Did Not Add Tithes And Offerings To Our ₦615, 000 Wage Demand – Ajaero

We Did Not Add Tithes And Offerings To Our ₦615, 000 Wage Demand – Ajaero
We Did Not Add Tithes And Offerings To Our ₦615, 000 Wage Demand – Ajaero

The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has given a breakdown of their new minimum wage demand.

Recall that the federal government had upped its offer from its earlier proposed ₦48,000 to ₦54,000.

However organised labour rejected the new ₦54,000 minimum wage and insisted on ₦615,000 living wage demand.

Speaking on the Congress demands during an interview with Daily Trust, Ajaero explained that they had to critically watch the impact of the removal of subsidy before deciding on a befitting wage Nigerian workers could survive on.

He explained that cost of feeding, housing, gas, education, medicals were added together before an amount was presented to the government.

The president, however, stated that expenses such as communication, tithes and offering were exempted.

According to him, “When the subsidy was removed, the government told us to go and negotiate a wage. Negotiating a wage is not something that is done immediately.

“We’ve now watched the impact of the removal of subsidy, and it has dawned on every one of us. And it wasn’t only the removal of the subsidy, they also went into price fixing, the price of fuel went up to over N700 per litre.

“With that, we can tell you clearly how much it costs a worker to go to work. We know how much a bag of rice is being sold? So, the cost of all this has dawned on us and we have prepared what it takes for a worker to go to work and survive with a family of four.

“We also came up with this analysis and based it on some of the global experiences. The UN position is that nobody can survive on less than $2 per day.

“And if you take it from that angle for a family of six, giving them two dollars per meal, in a day, you’ll have $12 and about $360 in a month. I’ll leave the calculation for us to do. Let us come to the issue of the cost-of-living index which we normally use.

“We gave the government a breakdown; for feeding, we gave everybody in that family N500 per meal. If you give everybody in a family of six N500 naira per meal, one person will get N1,500 per meal in a day. And for the six people, they are going to have about N270,000 for feeding in a month.

“We looked at about N40,000 for accommodation, for education for 4 children, we put N50,000 assuming that your children should not go to private schools because you can’t do that with that amount of money.

“For Medicare, assuming there’s no surgery or serious medical issue, we put N50,000. For electricity, we put N20,000. That was even before this electricity tariff increase.

“And you discover that if today, you buy a token of N20,000, it no longer lasts as much as before. For Gas/kerosene, considering that people refill every two weeks, at the cost of about N15,000 – N17,000 for 12.5kg cylinder, we estimated about N30,000 a month.

“All these are how we arrived at the sum of N615,000. Note that we didn’t add expenses like communication, tithes/offerings in church or any other social obligation.

“Now we brought it out for negotiation. However, in doing this, we said that if the government can check all these other issues like the inflationary rate and the value of our currency, then we can adjust our demands.

“The labour movement wouldn’t have asked for more than N200,000 before the removal of subsidy. Apart from transportation and house rent, you know the cost of living. A bag of rice now costs over N70,000, bread and other food items are very expensive too.”



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