The labor unions: Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, left talks about minimum wage with the government and private sector. They were mad about the government suggesting N48,000 as the new minimum wage. The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said the government isn’t serious about talking with workers about the new minimum wage. He said the government doesn’t have the right data to talk with workers.

Ajaero said the government has until the end of the month to decide, and workers will decide what to do after that. The Trade Union Congress was there too, with their Deputy President, Mr. Tommy Okon. They both signed a paper after the talk, saying the government’s suggestion of N48,000 isn’t enough. They also said the private sector proposed N54,000, but even the lowest-paid private sector workers get N78,000, which is more. They said the government didn’t show any good data to back up their suggestion.

The unions did not agree with the government’s suggestion because it could mean less money for federal workers. Right now, federal workers get N30,000, plus an extra N12,000 from Buhari’s 40% Peculiar allowance, and a N35,000 wage award. That’s a total of N77,000. The unions think getting less money is not fair for workers and their families. They suggested the government should pay workers N615,000 as the minimum wage.

The unions asked for N615,000 because they said the current minimum wage of N30,000 is not enough for workers to live well with the high cost of living in Nigeria. They also said not all governors are paying the current wage, which will end in April, five years after the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 was made by former President Muhammadu Buhari. This law says the wage should be reviewed every five years to fit the needs of workers today.

Before, in January, the government made a group to talk about the new minimum wage. They were supposed to say the new minimum wage on May 1, but they did not. The Minister of State Labor, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, said even though they didn’t say the new wage on May 1, it will still start from May 1, 2024, once they agree on it. She said they are talking a lot to get the new wage ready as soon as they can.