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Abuja — Nigeria’s government is recommending a 50% rise in the minimum wage, weeks before a presidential election where the cost of living has become a major issue. Labour minister Chris Ngige says the government will send a bill to parliament proposing an increase in the minimum monthly salary to 27,000 naira ($88) from the current level of 18,000 naira. Africa’s top oil producer and most populous nation relies on crude sales for about two-thirds of government revenue, but lower prices pushed it into recession in 2016. Though it emerged from the downturn in early 2017, growth remains weak and inflation hit a seven-month high of 11.44% in December. Unions went on strike in 2018 year over the minimum wage, initially demanding a rise to 50,000 naira a month.

President Muhammadu Buhari, whose bid for re-election on February 16 faces a strong challenge from main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar, said in January he would increase the minimum wage but had not specified by how muc...

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