- Nigerians have reacted to the new minimum wage approved by the federal government
- The FG on Tuesday approved N27,000 as new minimum wage in Abuja
- A civil servant who spoke to Legit.ng said the cut in the recommended minimum wage is a reflection of the greedy and selfish nature of the country’s political class
The organised labour and some Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over the N27,000 new minimum wage approved by the federal government on Tuesday, January 22, at the National Council of State
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had told the government that its would not accept anything below N30,000 for the new minimum wage.
Legit.ng regional reporter, Subair Mohammed, reports that some Nigerians expressed displeasure over the cut, saying the wages of elected public officers should be cut rather than the wages for the civil servants.
They described injustice as a situation when senators and House of representatives members were paid millions of Naira for part-time legislation in a month and public and private sectors workers that keep the economy working diligently cannot be paid N30, 000 per month.
A civil servant, George Popoola, who spoke with Legit.ng, said the cut in the recommended minimum wage is a reflection of the greedy and selfish nature of the country’s political class.
He said: “It is like feeding on a cow head and offering its bone to others. Look at the humongous amount legislators collect monthly not to talk of billions of naira and foreign currencies that are stolen by the executives. I think if the federal government is sincere with Nigerians, they can conveniently pay the proposed amount.
"Nigerian workers deserve a better deal. It is only in Nigeria that a civil servant can’t afford to sponsor his children’s education not to talk of putting a well-balanced meal on the table for his family.
"I am a level 8 civil servant with monthly salary of N56,000. I am living in a room self-contain with my wife and two children on the mainland. I spent at least N800 daily on transportation for 24days and I have to provide for the domestic needs of my children and wife.
"If I am asked, the proposed N30, 000 minimum wage is not even enough for those the live and work in Lagos not to talk of cutting it to N27,000.
"I can only pray that those that are militating against better living condition for Nigeria workers will die a miserable death because the hardship is getting harder by the day.”
Expressing labour position on the cut, the national president, United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero in his interview on Wednesday, January 23, on TVC Breakfast Show, said any attempt by the federal government would not be accepted as the organised labour is eagerly expecting the president to transmit the recommendation of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly to be passed into law.
He said: “Both the FG and the tripartite committee have concluded on what should be the minimum wage and any other attempt to railroad any amount will not be accepted by the Organised labour.
"We are expecting Mr. president to transmit the report of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly to be passed into law. Issues bordering on education, health, transportation are inevitabilities for every Nigerian. But these are not ready available for the masses.
"I have to pay my children school fees, pay for my transportation, pay for my medical bills. So, if I am doing all these by myself, it will be uncharitable for anyone to ask me not to ask for a salary increase that will take care of all these needs.
"We can be thinking of a low minimum wage if the government at both levels are alive to their responsibilities and other issues like good transportation, quality healthcare delivery, qualitative and free education are being taken care of but if they are not, we have to bring everything to the table.”
In his reaction, a Lagos-based business man, Anthony Mark, said he was bothered about the impact of the new wages on cost of goods and services.
He said: “The Organised Labour is flexing muscles with the Federal Government on the minimum wage. But what about those of us that are self-employed?
"Our income is not increasing but daily expenditure is on the increase. For me, I don’t think increasing workers’ salaries is the solution to the economic hardship Nigerians are facing.
"The federal government should provide social amenities like accommodation, good road network, good transportation, quality education, free and quality healthcare and more. If every Nigerian has access to all these, who cares about the amount a worker is being paid?
"The task before the federal government is to alleviate the suffering of the masses and not bestow on them Greek gifts that will further worsen their situation.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared it is rejecting the N27,000 as the minimum wage approved by the National Council of State on Tuesday, January 22, even though the federal government agreed on N30,000.
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