Amidst demand by the organized labour for a significantly improved minimum wage due to inflation caused by petroleum subsidy removal that was announced at the dawn of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser on Information & Strategy to President Bola Tinubu has claimed that it would be hard for the government to peg the new proposed minimum wage at N100,000.
Petroleum subsidy removal and further devaluation of the naira all by the Tinubu’s administration has resulted in an inflammatory inflation with the resultant consequence being a very high cost of living. This has brought severe hardship as Nigerians, particularly the low income earners, are suffocating making the old minimum wage nothing to write home about. To meet up with the reality of today’s market, the organized labour comprising of Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have demanded for a new minimum wage
To press home their demands, which the labour unions said have become necessary in view of the fact that the existing minimum wage is no longer tenable, unions issued a two week ultimatum to the government, effective from 9th February 2024 to compel it to take action.
According to www.pointblank.com.ng, labour are demanding for#200,000 and above as new minimum wage
However, Mr Onanuga in an interview with Arise Television on Monday 12th February, 2024 said payment of #100,000 is not feasible and sustainable.
Mr Onanuga stressed that currently some states are struggling to pay the current minimum wage that was increased to #30,000 by the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and wondered how they would pay #100,000 and above if it was approved as the new minimum wage
He said, “Let me tell you, the last time it was done under President Buhari when the wage was increased to N30,000 per month, till today, 26 state governments could not pay it, out of 36, Only 10 are paying.
“The rest have not paid the whole rate or maybe they’ve just improved a bit. But mostly, according to the people who have monitored it, 26 state governments are unable to comply. Whatever the government wants to do now, even if we increase wages to 100,000 naira, will the Federal Government be able to pay?”