The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has called for the implementation of a new minimum wage of N200,000 per month. Additionally, they have demanded a return to the previous pump price of petrol at N185 per litre in order to create a favorable environment for negotiations.
According to a statement by TUC’s President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, the following points were highlighted:
- The maintenance of the previous pump price for petrol (PMS) while discussions continue, and an increase in the minimum wage from the current N30,000 to N200,000 by the end of June 2023. This increase should be accompanied by adjustments in the cost of living allowance, such as feeding, transport, and housing.
- The involvement of a representative from state governors in the agreement, with a commitment from all governors to implement the new minimum wage.
- A tax holiday for employees earning less than N200,000 or 500 USD per month, whichever is higher, in both the government and private sectors. An allowance for PMS should be introduced for those earning between N200,000 and N500,000 or 500 USD to 1,200 USD, whichever is higher.
- The exchange rate for retailing PMS should be limited to a fluctuation of two percent over the next 10 years. If the fluctuation exceeds two percent, the minimum wage will automatically increase at the same rate.
- The establishment of an intervention fund, where the government will contribute N10 per litre on all locally consumed PMS. This fund will be used to address long-standing national issues in education, health, and housing. A governance structure involving labor, civil society, and the government will be established to manage its implementation.
- The provision of mass transit vehicles for all segments of the population by the federal government. State governments should also establish a subsidized transportation system to alleviate pressure on workers and students.
- The immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to expand coverage and ensure an adequate supply of drugs.
- A visitation to the refineries undergoing rehabilitation to assess the progress of the work and establish a timeline for completion.
- The directive from the President to the appointed labor minister to promptly constitute the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC). The NLAC will serve as a platform for the government, labor, and employers to discuss issues and policies that affect workers as mandated by law.
- The provision of subsidies for food items, with an initial amount of $800 million. The existing National Housing Fund (NHF) should be made accessible to genuine workers, and the framework for this accessibility must be discussed and agreed upon.
Furthermore, TUC emphasized the medium-term goals, which include the deployment of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) nationwide, reducing the cost of governance by 15 percent in 2024 and 30 percent in 2025, developing a framework for road maintenance and expanding rail networks, and designing a social housing policy for workers through a rent-to-own system.
Lastly, TUC urged an assessment of the electricity situation in the country and the development of an action plan with timelines to address the issues.