Miracle Akubuo 

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) recommended palliatives for workers and vulnerable groups to ameliorate the harsh effects of fuel subsidy removal by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

TUC in particular demanded that minimum wage should be increased from its current N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023 with consequential adjustments on Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), like feeding, transport, and housing among others.

This development has prompted discussion among social media users, Twitter users have expressed opinions and dissatisfaction on the current issues.

Via his Twitter handle, Reverend Emmanuel Ezeagabu has voiced his apprehension in a tweet.

“As much as the masses are finding it hard to breathe, I am of the strong opinion that an increase to 200 minimum wage will further inflate our economy. The solution is to cut down on demand for dollars and legalize and equip the so-called illegal refineries.”

In the same vein, Effiong raised concern for the fate of Nigerians who are not civil servants.

He expressed, “This is not suitable at all. What we need is structural reform to our national economy, not palliatives, not minimum wages increase to a civil service population of less than 2 million Nigerians. Forces of demand and supply are already at work.”

In reaction, Jasper Ariet Loui suggested the government look into building a good economic structure and not minimum wages. “Minimum wages can’t solve the problem but will create hyperinflation. My suggestion is to stabilize the economy, bring dollars down to naira level, build new refineries, and encourage agriculture.”

Also, Ijebio Akhigbe has raised warnings about the potential effect of this request by the NLC on the country’s economy.

He stated, “The loaf of bread may be increased to about 2,000, fat salary and expensive food.”

Odunayo Ibirinte, in his comment, emphasized that the request was for their selfish interest and benefit, not the masses.

“Obviously, the NLC is not protesting for the benefit of all. Why not protest for the operatives of our local refineries? Salaries and wages increment will simply encourage inflation. Refineries operators should benefit all instead of only the NLC members.”

Moreso, Jude questioned the hope and fate of those who are not connected to the civil service when approved. “What will be the fate of those that are not civil servants, artisans, farmers, and co.”

Similarly, John Adetunji also expressed dissatisfaction, saying, “This increment does not include private sectors, so how will private individuals benefit from whatever new minimum wage is eventually approved.”

Raising concern about the issue, a twitter user, G 4 E, has called for adequate and proper decision-making and not fast and quick decisions.

He explained, “We need to be realistic as people. From the current 40k to 200k in one leap? What country in the world increases its minimum wage by up to 500 percent at once? We need to be calming down.”

Sampeter Ashiegbu diverted the discussion to the cost of food products in the country, calling for a reduction in the cost of food products as should be the priority of the government. “They should solicit food products equal price tag in Nigeria. And food price should be reduced to the barest minimum. FG of Nigeria food price control, pls.”

However, a concerned citizen with the name Olawale Akinkumi reminded the country of having a deficit budget and advised that proper implementation and budget must be aligned before any further actions and decisions.

He cautioned, “NLC should know before any salary adjustment and feasible implementation; this has to be the next budget because we already have a budget deficit for this year alone.

Expanding further on Akinkumi’s opinion, Silas Kelechi Henry said, “If the Federal Government should increase the salary to 200k, the problem of inflation will rather be worsened. Because already, the Naira is floating and the subsidy is removed. The government should try to curb the impact the subsidy removal is causing.”

Umar Jubril, while explaining his point, stated that this will add to the country’s problem and sorry.

He cited, “Once your aim is achieved, the farmer will also sell mudu of garri at 5,000 and rice at 10,000 Naira. Is it not better to negotiate palliatives than salary increase, which is an increase in our sorrow?”



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