Yet a considerable chunk of Nigeria's yearly budget is spent feeding, clothing and housing our ‘esteemed' legislators and executives
The recent Minimum Wage challenge on Twitter (#MinimumWageChallenge) exposed the uselessness of the Nigerian minimum wage.
People were asked to show how they could survive on N18,000 a month, and it immediately became clear that even a ‘single’ person could not survive on the minimum wage, talk less a family of four.
The sad part is a vast number of people earn less than the minimum wage monthly. Some people in the private sector work for N10,000 and some even collect as low as N5,000 monthly (sales girls).
So please ignore the delusional Femi Adesina who says only a few Nigerians are suffering. He’s probably suffering from jet lag like our beloved president, who needs an aide to remind him every morning which country he’s in. The truth is people are suffering and not only those on minimum wage.
The recent devaluation of the Naira means you need about N160,000 to do what N100,000 would have done a year ago. Add to that the hike in the price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 and you’ll begin to see why there's being a 50% hike in the prices of most commodities.
But working for minimum wage and actually getting paid are going two different things. While the NLC is fighting for the minimum wage to be raised to N52,200, several states cannot even afford to pay the meagre N18,000.
In some of these states, civil servants have not been paid for months and strikes have fallen on deaf ears as these states claim to be broke.
Yet a considerable chunk of Nigeria's yearly budget is spent feeding, clothing and housing our ‘esteemed' legislators and executives, who have never for one day gone on strike to demand for the payments of their allowances and salaries.
The 109 Senators and 360 House of Representative members annually consume N8.72B, and this figure does not include funding for special committees.
And we expect those on minimum wage not to be corrupt? Let's face it, they’ve been able to survive this long based on the deals they can cut, not on their miserly salaries.
If this government truly is serious in its fight against corruption and alleviating poverty, then it needs to review the minimum wage and ensure it gets paid promptly across all states of the federation.