Hardship: No Nigerian Workers Can Survive On Less Than N100,000 Wage – Reps

The House of Representatives convened on Wednesday to establish an ad-hoc committee tasked with devising strategies for implementing living wages for Nigerian workers, aligning with the current economic conditions in the nation. This decision stemmed from the unanimous support garnered for a motion jointly introduced by 40 members of the House.

Presenting the motion on behalf of the sponsors, Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano) highlighted the escalating inflation rate, rendering it increasingly challenging for the average Nigerian to afford fundamental necessities like food, shelter, education, healthcare, transportation, and clothing. He emphasized the adverse impact of inflation on the overall cost of living, particularly citing surging expenses in food, housing, education, and transportation.

Madaki underscored Nigeria’s commitment to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, specifically referencing Article 23, which advocates for just and equitable remuneration to enable individuals and their families to live with dignity. He also drew attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that eight of the 17 SDGs require the implementation of living wages by 2030 for attainment.

Recalling the removal of fuel subsidy in May 2023, Madaki acknowledged the government’s provision of palliatives to mitigate its impact. However, he pointed out that the efficacy of these measures has been overshadowed by the persistent escalation in the prices of goods and services. Despite recent wage adjustments by the president, he lamented the diminishing purchasing power of citizens due to the relentless surge in living costs and the depreciation of the national currency.

Referring to data from Trade Economics in 2018, Madaki cited the estimated living wage for individuals and families in Nigeria prior to the fuel subsidy removal. He argued that with the current economic realities, no laborer can sustainably subsist on a wage of less than N100,000. Consequently, he advocated for the formulation of a comprehensive living wage framework.

Drawing from a World Bank report, Madaki highlighted the correlation between low purchasing power, driven by high inflation rates, and the exacerbation of poverty levels nationwide. This reinforced the urgent need to address the issue of inadequate wages and its ramifications on the socio-economic fabric of the country.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that unless “very immediate and pragmatic steps are taken to improve the income of Nigerians, more Nigerians will go down the economic line, with the poor population increasing.”

The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to voice vote and resolution is to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence.