Workers hopeful new minimum wage will alleviate suffering, improve living standard 

Sun, Mar 3, 2024
By editor


SOME workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have expressed optimism that the new minimum wage will had  alleviate suffering and improve their living standards.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that considering the economic realities, the Federal Government commenced efforts to improve the minimum wage of workers in the country.

To this end, the Federal Government had  inaugurated a 37-member tripartite committee to deliberate and come up with a wage structure that would cushion the effect of Nigeria’s current economic conditions.

The Vice President Kashim Shettima, while inaugurating the committee, which membership cuts across federal, and state governments, the private sector and organised labour, urged the committee to speedily arrive at a resolution.

Shettima similarly urged them to submit their reports early as the current N30,000 minimum wage would expire at the end of March 2024.

Some of the workers who spoke to NAN on Sunday in Abuja, said that the current economic situation which had led to hardship on citizens, needed to be tackled speedily.

They also urged the minimum wage committee inaugurated by the Federal Government to work speedily and in the interest of the suffering masses.

Mrs Comfort Uzor, a Civil Servant, commended the government in its efforts towards redeeming the wage allowance it promised Nigerian workers.

Uzor, however, appealed that the committee should take cognizance of the increasing rate of inflation in the country while deliberating on the wage.

She said: “ the government has surprised us by paying the wage allowance till January, although, the redemption almost did not have much effect because of the high cost of goods in the market.

Another civil servant, Jude Johnson emphasised the need for government to increase the salaries of workers to enable them give in their best on their jobs.

` This past week, I went to work only three times because I did not have money to pay for transportation; and I have lots of colleagues who did not also go to work.

“Life has not been easy for many of us these days; infact, some of our children have dropped out of school due to high cost of things. And the money is not even there.

“I am seriously looking forward to this new minimum wage, and praying that the increment is reasonable enough to help augment certain things for us.”

Another worker, Mrs Ekaite John, called on the government and key stakeholders to look into the high cost of goods in the market to proffer immediate solutions.

John also appealed to the government to ensure investments and interventions that would reduce the cost of production for farmers, thus encouraging them to produce more.

“Farmers need to be encouraged to go into the farms. They need incentives, they need assurance of security and all these are what the government needs to put in place.

“Nowadays, farmers who are meant to stay back and cultivate have migrated to the cities in search of white-collar jobs.

“We really need to increase our food production, so we can also be able to export to generate forex for the country. That is one major way to grow our economy,’’ John said.

Meanwhile, a trader, Shehu Abdul, also expressed hope that the new minimum wage would take effect soon as the “no money in the economy syndrome” was affecting his business.

“ Our businesses are not smiling; they are not doing well anymore. I sell some perishable foods and you cannot imagine what high cost of transportation, and poor electricity is doing to my business.

“Since the fuel subsidy removal, my business has been suffering. The cost of bringing the goods to the market have increased drastically, making us to increase prices of our products also.

NAN reports that the committee on March 1, announced that it would hold a public hearing on March 7 in all the six geo-political zones in the country to deliberate on the minimum wage for workers.

They urged the participation of the state and local governments, labour unions, employers of labour, civil society groups, small and medium enterprises and other stakeholders in the six geo-political zones. (NAN)


-March 03, 2024 @ 17:20 GMT|