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Hardship: No Nigerian workers can survive on less than N100,000 wage – Reps

The House of Representatives on Wednesday has set up an ad-hoc committee to look into modalities for the payment of living wages to Nigerian workers…

The House of Representatives on Wednesday has set up an ad-hoc committee to look into modalities for the payment of living wages to Nigerian workers at rates that match the present economic realities in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by 40 members of the House.

Moving the motion on behalf of the sponsors, Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano) said the rising rate of inflation in the country had made it difficult for an average Nigerian to afford basic needs such as food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transportation, and clothing.

He also noted that the rising inflationary rate in the country had impacted negatively on the cost of living with the cost of food, accommodation, education, and transportation skyrocketing.

The lawmaker said that Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and Article 23 of the Declaration which states that “every individual who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration to ensure such a person and his or her family exist in dignity.”

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He further said that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a 2030 achievement deadline, and eight out of the 17 SDGs of the United Nations require the payment of a living wage to be achieved.

The lawmaker recalled that when the fuel subsidy was removed in May 2023, the federal government offered palliatives to cushion its effects.

He, however, observed that the ameliorative effect of the measure had been overtaken by the continued rise in the cost of goods and services.

He said notwithstanding the recent wage award by the president, the purchasing power of people was still low owing to the continued rise in the cost of living in the country and the fall of the naira.

Madaki said the Trade Economics in 2018 put the living wage for a Nigerian and a Nigerian family to be N43,200 per month and N137,600 per month respectively prior to the removal of subsidy on fuel.

He said no labourer can live in Nigeria with a wage of less than N100,000 currenly, hence, the need to work out a living wage.

He said according to the World Bank report, low purchasing power in the country occasioned by a high inflationary rate, had led to an increase in poverty across 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.

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