The Movement for a Socialist Alternative (MSA) rejects the ridiculous and unacceptable offer of N48,000 as minimum wage put forward by Federal Government. We find it utterly insulting, particularly in the light of the cost of living analysis already put forward by Trade Unions for a new minimum wage of N615,000.

The country is rich enough to provide a living wage not only to workers but as well as a social net package of allowance to the huge army of the employed. It in the same way that the country richly provides for public officials in the three arms of government at the federal, state and local government. This is outside the huge allowances alloted to themselves and the fact of the free access to looting of the wealth of the country using all forms of guise.

While offering pittance to workers, the Tinubu regime through its policy frame work in the oil sector, electricity, financial policies etc has guaranteed more wealth for the tiny numbers of the upper class.

The MSA therefore insists that the FG-proposed minimum wage offer of N48,000 is utterly out of touch with the harsh economic realities faced by the working masses. Not with inflation rate currently standing at a staggering figure 33.68%, making it the highest in 28 years, rendering the government’s proposed figure meaningless and inadequate. The N48,000 is completely absurd. Cannot foot the expense for food for any working class family. This is if we were to assume an unrealistically low expenditure of N500 per meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner a total of N1,500 per day this would amount to only N45,000 per month for an individual. For a family of 4 will amount to N180, 000 only. However, this calculation fails to account for other essential expenses such as rent, transportation, electricity, water, communication and other basic necessities, which further strain the already meagre income of the worker.

We in the MSA stand in full solidarity with the decision of the Labour representatives to walk out, signalling their refusal to accept the government’s attempt to evade its responsibility to provide a fair and just minimum wage that reflects the current cost of living

However the walkout alone is not enough, the MSA urges the NLC and the TUC to commence mobilisation workers in readiness for a 24 hours warning strike as an indication of its commitment to provide workers with the leadership to struggle for labour’s proposal of N615,000 minimum wage, with periodic increase to march the rate of inflation.

 In the light of this, we urge the NLC and the TUC to mobilize workers in readiness for a 24 hours warning strike as an indication of workers’ support for the labour leaders’ walk out and rejection of the N48,000 and as well as indicative of workers willingness to struggle for labour’s proposal of N615,000 minimum wage, with periodic increase to march the rate of inflation.

It is evident that the Tinubu regime has no intention of fulfilling its promise to workers to issue a living wage, since this will go against its economic thrust and obligation to guarantee Big Business (both foreign and local) free and unfettered access to the exploitation of the resources and wealth of the country, and the needed cheap labour.

For too long, workers in Nigeria have been condenmned to poverty wages misnamed as minimum wage increase. The current minimum wage of N 30,000 was $85 when introduced in 2019. The offer of N48, 000 with a dollar at N1,500 amounts to only $32, translating to huge shortfall of $54 dollars, making it 265% lesser than the current minimum wage which has depreciated to $20.

It is clear that except workers come out fully to take on the Tinubu regime, it will not do the needful. It is bent on a course to unleash more attacks on the living standard of the working masses. Indeed a series of action by the mass of workers, inclusive of protest and strike actions will be inevitable to bring the Tinubu regime to heed the demand of workers for a living wage.

More importantly is the fact that the Tinubu regime like others before it has continued the ruling class commitment to the neoliberal capitalist polices of deregulation and privatisation, which undermines the development of the means of production with its attendant attack on the living condition as reflected in inflation of goods and services and devaluation of the currency.

This explains why the MSA completely supports the step taken by the labour leaders for reclaiming the labour party and rebuilding it to be a party with which workers can provide leadership to the working masses to fully take on the ruling class and dislodge them all from power. This is only path to end the misery and poverty that the ruling class continues to condemn the working masses, despite the huge wealth and resources of the country. To reclaim the Labour party, redefining it as a party of struggle, grounded on a socialist programme. Or commence the process of support and building a new Working People Party with whiich the working masses can vie for political power, thereby putting an end to the capitalist exploitation of the working masses, by nationalising the commanding sectors of the economy under democratic workers’ management and control ensuring that the wealth and resources of the nation are used judiciously and for the benefit of the people, rather than being squandered by a privileged few. 

The N615,000 minimum wage is achievable only if workers come fully into the arena of struggle, through protest and strike actions. The NLC and TUC must begin mobilisation Now!


Aj. Dagga Tolar

General Secretary MSA.