Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company (FDC), has called on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to reconsider its proposal to benchmark the minimum wage against the dollar exchange rate, as reported by VANGUARD.

He warned that such a move would likely result in significant job losses, particularly in the private sector, which is already grappling with numerous macroeconomic challenges.

Rewane stated that private sector employers, who are the primary source of jobs, can only afford to pay wages from their revenue, which is currently under pressure. He also stated the need for institutional reforms to ensure competent leadership in positions of authority, which is essential for effective price reforms.

He noted that the value of the naira would continue to decline unless Nigeria increases its dollar earnings through exports.

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Reflecting on past wage negotiations, Rewane mentioned that in 2019, the minimum wage was increased from N18,000 to N30,000 after extensive discussions. At that time, the equivalent value was approximately $75.

He said, “In 2019, the original proposal that we met, when Buhari called us, I could recall, was N18,000, and the discussion was around N24,000. I think we moved it to N30,000 after all negotiations.

“When we came up, he said, I don’t want any layoffs, I don’t want any inflation, I don’t want this, and I don’t want that. But what do you want? That was not there.

“In any case, we were able to resolve the issue. The data is very clear on what we did, N30,000 was the minimum wage, which covers 10% more than N30,000 that the civil servants got. The equivalent at that time was about $75. So, for any other person, if you are on N18,000, you get N30,000. If you are a permanent secretary, whatever it is, you get N10,000 more.”….Sée Móre

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