ABUJA, 10 March 2021 – Labor unions in Nigeria have launched nationwide street protests to demand that the country’s states honor a minimum wage agreement.
The minimum wage was supposed to be increased to 30,000 naira a month or an estimated $65.
The deal was reached in 2018 after months of negotiations with the Nigerian government, but some state governments have recently said they cannot afford this rate, instead offering a lower minimum wage.
A coalition of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), and other groups have said they will protest plans to remove minimum wage from the exclusive bill by the Nigerian National Assembly.
Lagos Chapter leaders of TUC and NLC told Premium Times that they are ready for war and would shut down the country, if the National Assembly does not rescind a plan to remove minimum wage.
Union leaders and their members in the capital, Abuja, marched on the country’s parliament building on Wednesday, calling on MPs to ensure that the deal is honored.
“As organized labor, we are ready to resist that bill, shut down the National Assembly and if need be, shut down the entire nation for this cause. This is what we are saying in clear terms, unequivocally and we are not mincing words,” said Gbenga Ekundayo, the state chairperson of Trade Union Congress (TUC), cited Wednesday by Premium Times.
Ekundayo warned that Nigeria and Nigerians must prepare for a “mega strike” and intense protests if MPs in the National Assembly refuse to deliver on the deal.