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Nationwide strike on the horizon – but FG can’t afford to give in

Politics

Nationwide strike on the horizon – but FG can’t afford to give in

What you need to know:
Nigeria’s labor unions have advised citizens to stock up on the essentials as they announce for a nation-wide strike beginning on Thursday 27th September.

Backstory
The leaders of the various labor unions (Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and United Labor Congress of Nigeria (ULC)) have ordered their members to prepare for a nationwide strike which is aimed at getting the federal government to agree to the demand of an increase in the national minimum wage.

Currently, the minimum wage is N18,000 ($50/month based on an exchange rate of N360/$1) however, the labor unions are demanding for an increase of N47,000 to bring the amount to N65,000 ($180/month).

Why this matters:
Even though very few labour strikes of this scale in Nigeria end up getting the intended effect, still you do not want to be caught unprepared on the day-zero.

Also, the demands of the labor unions will very likely serve as fodder for the campaigns leading up to the 2019 elections.

While we cannot know for certain how this will play out, you can count on The Scoop to keep an eye on this story for you.

Bottom line:
The truth is that there is no way Nigeria can afford to raise minimum wage without risking a major fiscal crisis. The country already experiences underperforming budgets and borrows to meet its obligations to the workers.

While economists talk about the inflationary pressures such a move could trigger, the truth is that as it stands only four of the 36 Nigerian states are deemed healthy enough to pay workers based on the current rate. We do not see this working. Please don’t do it.

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