The Youth Rights Campaign (YRC), a non-governmental organization, has called for President Bola Tinubu and all other political office holders in Nigeria to be placed on the national minimum wage. The organization argues that it is unfair to expect ordinary Nigerians to make sacrifices for the country while political elites enjoy the nation’s resources.
The YRC, through its national coordinator Michael Lenin, also demands an increase in the minimum wage to N200,000 per month without layoffs, as well as an unemployment allowance for jobless young people. The group has condemned the planned 114 percent pay raise for political office holders.
According to the YRC, Tinubu and other political office holders should take a pay cut due to the substantial salaries and allowances they already receive. They argue that citizens are grappling with issues such as fuel subsidy removal, currency devaluation, planned increases in electricity tariffs, and the introduction of tuition fees in public higher institutions.
The YRC believes that if Tinubu and other politicians claim to be affected by the difficult economic situation that has impacted the livelihoods of poor Nigerians, it is only logical that they do not earn more than the people they lead.
The YRC demands that Tinubu and all political office holders be placed on the national minimum wage and calls for an inflation-proof increase in the minimum wage up to N200,000 per month without layoffs. They also advocate for an unemployment allowance for young people without jobs.
The organization urges the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to initiate negotiations for a review of the minimum wage immediately. They argue that workers, who have been severely affected by subsidy removal and rising living costs, cannot wait until February next year for a pay raise.
The YRC emphasizes the importance of rejecting the planned increase in school fees and electricity tariffs, and urges the government to adequately fund public education at all levels. They assert that labor unions should be prepared to take actions such as mass rallies, protests, and strikes to push for their demands and ensure the implementation of a new minimum wage regime by the federal government, state governments, and private sector employers.