CSO Urges FG, States To Pay Workers Reasonable Wage Of N100,000


The Permanent Representative of the Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) to the United Nations (UN), Mr Olufemi Aduwo, has urged the Federal and State governments to pay civil servants a reasonable wage.

In a statement issued on Monday, Aduwo said the minimum wage of N62,000 is not sufficient considering the economic realities in the country. He said the government should pay the workers a reasonable wage of N100,000.

Aduwo said: “A living wage is the amount of money a worker needs to earn for a standard workweek or month to afford a decent standard of living for themselves and their family.

“This includes necessities like food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transportation, and clothing, as well as other essential needs like savings and provisions for unexpected events.

“Living wages are often much higher than the legal minimum wage, which is the lowest hourly wage an employer can legally pay their workers. I doubt if President Bola Tinubu’s administration could pay the living wage being demanded by organized labour. Then the discussion should revolve around reasonable wages.

“The sage late Papa Awolowo as a Premier of Western region introduced and successfully implemented the first minimum wage policy in Nigeria and paid to Western Nigeria’s civil servants from October 1954 a minimum wage that was double the amount paid to workers of the same level in some other parts of Nigeria.

“While the Western Region paid five shillings and sixpence as minimum wage to workers, the workers in the North earned only two shillings and eight pence and Federal Government workers were paid a little above 3 shillings and don’t forget the fiscal federalism was in operation then.

“In 1981 the wage was N125 per month. Using the exchange rate of US$1 = N0.61 as of 1981, this wage was about US$204. At the 2024 exchange rate, that amount paid as minimum wage in 1981 would be equivalent to about N265,000 (going by the current exchange rate of about US$1 = N1,300, l know it exchanged a little above N1,500 last week ).

“The current national minimum wage is N30,000 (US$24) a month. So, the minimum wage in 1981 was over eight times more than the current minimum wage. We are where we are due to Nigerian factors. I am suggesting a reasonable wage of N100,000 as a starting point.”

New Telegraph

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