The Nigerian Labour Congress PLEDGE – All Employers Must Comply

The Nigerian Labour Congress PLEDGE – All Employers Must Comply

I support Nigerian Labour Congress on this: N30,000 total compliance in Nigeria. Yes, every employer – public or private – must pay the minimum wage of N30,000. But to make this work, NLC needs to have mechanisms to make it easier for employees to send complaints if their employers do not comply.

This must not be like those toothless wasteful adverts you read on Guardian where government will write “We have observed that some companies are importing substandard products into Nigeria. We know where you are. This notice is to tell you to stop this illegal import within 2 weeks or we will come after you”.

I always ask – why waste money to advertise, telling the companies to stop, when you have the rights to round them up overnight. So, NLC, the minimum wage is no more talk – help workers and build processes to ensure compliance. I want people to earn better as that ensures inequalities are managed.

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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says the new minimum wage recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is binding on all employers of labour in the country.

The president of NLC, Ayuba Wanna, said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

Mr Wabba said the new minimum wage has become binding, having been approved by the two chambers of the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NLC boss lamented about the varying salary structure of the public and civil service, calling for a guide to streamline the system.

He also called for an increase in the payment of pensions and gratuity to retired Nigerian workers.

Every employer in Nigeria should sign this “pledge” – and cover from cleaners to guards. It will strengthen the nation and take us to the next level. Largely, there is no fairness maximizing dividends for shareholders when those working day and night are not paid fair wages. Let’s support NLC on absolute and full compliance of the N30,000 minimum wage for both private and private entities.

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It is a tricky one, and cannot be addressed from Abuja, the finer details paint different pictures for various categories of ’employers of labour’. The State governments can offer better legislation on the issue of minimum wage, especially where private entities are involved. There are businesses with less than N3m annual revenue, can they pay N30k monthly without going under? And those who struggle to pay are not likely to employ more people, forcing the few there to do more; with unemployment paralysis on the other hand. We need to define categories and frame our messages better, it is impossible for all employers to afford N30k minimum wage; it doesn’t matter what the government or NLC think.

This is the reality. For medium and large enterprises, no issues, but for micro and small businesses? It does not work like that; NLC cannot even enforce it, when you see the balance sheet of some entities, you may even wish to send them some money. Nigeria’s economy is very small, if you think N30k is easy to pay, then think again; some will be very grateful to go home with N20k for now. We can focus on those who can pay, nothing works for everyone in Nigeria.

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Indeed a strong and valid point from you there. I remember a small clinic i did locum Around Aja axis in Lagos where a medical doctor is paid 85k while other health cadres go home with less than 30k per month. Obviously, non of us could complain because we knew how much profit me make monthly while sometimes our MD would seek for fund to pay salaries.

On the other hand, I was also opportune to work in one of the leading hospitals in the VI where a medical officer goes home with less than hashtag150k monthly in a facility where consultations alone could be as high as hashtag40k. Obviously this later employer could afford to pay better but didn’t.

Francis Oguaju you have rightly put it that – focus should be on those who can pay but not on every employer of labor because some enterprises are standing on a broken Tibia that needs support not burden of extra wage bills.


“Oga ta Oga oo ta owo alaaru aape”. A popular Yoruba proverb describing the sentiment between the employee and his wage, in relation to his employer’s business revenue. It’s a good event for minimum wage to rise to N30,000 which of course can hardly sustain a household of father, mother and one child. However labour productivity and attitude to work needs to change, particularly in the public institutions.

Anytime responsibilities take me through our public institutions, I see too many productivity and work related attitude questions looking for answers. Whether it is a public or private employer wages are easily improved when the employee puts in the best work attitude resulting to more revenue.

Also more middle class professionals need to venture into entrepreneurship to create more wage earning opportunities.


What Nigeria Labour Congress Should Do On Minimum Wage Negotiation with Government


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