This is coming as the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba was Wednesday re-elected for a second term.
In a motion submitted by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) at the plenary session of the 12th delegates’ conference of the NLC in Abuja, the union noted that there was a “twin assault on the real income of Nigerian workers caused by unrestrained devaluation of naira and high rate of inflation”.
The union also expressed the concern that the process for the new minimum wage was taking too long.
It urged the parent body, NLC, to discuss strategies and plans for effective implementation of the new minimum wage particularly at the state level.
The General Secretary of NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu, noted that it was important to put pressure on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to raise the tax bar in such a way that N30,000 minimum wage would fall below taxable income.
He also called for tax holidays for some categories of Nigerian workers.
He said, “Now that we have raised the minimum wage to N30,000, we must impress it on the FIRS to raise tax bar so that the new minimum wage will be protected. If you tax minimum wage of N30,000, we may as well go back to N25,000 or N27,000 by default. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives raised the point and I think labour must push the agenda to protect the new minimum wage.
“The N30,000 is actually a compromised amount from N56,000 earlier proposed so it must be protected. If the federal government can give 10-year tax holiday to companies, why not give the same to workers? Given the collapse of income, today, Nigerian workers deserve tax holidays. We are not asking for this because we consider our job as charitable, what workers have in their pocket is what will turn the economy around. That is what we will use to purchase goods in the market and pay rent. For economic recovery, it is good for workers to have sustainable purchasing power or disposable income that is off the tax hook.”