FILE - A soldier stands guard during a launch campaign by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party for President Muhammadu Buhari's re-election bid, in Uyo, Nigeria, Dec. 28, 2018.
FILE - A soldier stands guard during a launch campaign by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party for President Muhammadu Buhari's re-election bid, in Uyo, Nigeria, Dec. 28, 2018.

ABUJA - Nigeria is to send a bill recommending a national minimum monthly wage rise of 50 percent to 27,000 naira ($88) to lawmakers in the national assembly, the labor minister said on Tuesday.

Cost of living is a major campaign issue ahead of a presidential election on 16 February and unions want the minimum wage to be raised from 18,000 naira.

Inflation stood at a seven-month high of 11.44 percent in December.

Disagreements over the minimum wage saw labor unions striking across Nigeria in September. President Muhammadu Buhari said in January that he would increase the minimum wage, but did not specify by how much.

"The 27,000 naira minimum wage is the benchmark," Labor Minister Chris Ngige told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday. Ngige said some government workers could receive a higher salary of 30,000 naira a month.

The minister did not say when the bill would be sent to lawmakers. Any change would need to be signed into law by Buhari. ($1 = 306.3000 naira)