Current N18,000 minimum wage paid to Nigerian workers described as unrealistic in the wake of recent fall in the value of Nigerian currency
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday declared the current N18,000 minimum wage paid to Nigerian workers described as unrealistic in the wake of recent fall in the value of Nigerian currency, the Naira. Governor Oshiomhole, who noted that at N200 to one U.S. Dollar, Nigerian workers are merely earning $90 per month, at the current N18,000 minimum wage.
He condemned the poor salaries paid to the Nigerian workers even as he noted that the situation is worse at the level of public service. Governor Oshiomhole, who stated this while speaking with State House Correspondents shortly after meeting with President Muhamnadu Buhari, however did not say how much should be the ideal minimum wage.
“Let me be very clear, I believe the Nigerian worker is underpaid, particularly in the public sector. If you look at the wage trend now, you will find out that that a graduate earns Lever 8 Step 2 in the public service. If the same young man is to get a job in an oil company or some subsection of the public section, his pay will be much more.
“If a worker is confronted with endless rise in costs of living and his wages are stagnant, obviously whether you know it or not, he is already experiencing pressures on his living standard. If you look at the minimum wage when it was fixed, the exchange rate was about N140 to a dollar, so N18,000 is about $130 a month.
“ Now at N200 per dollar, N18,000 is about $90 and so you can see the only beneficiary in this kind of inflationary environment are those who have fixed assets like building. Because the more your Naira is devalued, the higher the nominal value of your assets,” he explained.
Speaking on the recent bailout to states, he lamented that the State was shortchanged by as much as N10billion in the last four years by the outgoing administration. He declared that the funds was sourced from the amount remitted by the Nigerian Liqueified Natural Gas, NLNG, but that the funds have never been remitted to the Federation Account.
“What was extraordinary is that the NLNG has over the years been remitting funds to the Federal Government. But the Federal Government illegally refused to transfer these fund to the consolidated revenue fund which belongs to the three tiers of government.
“All that President Buhari has done is in line with his commitments to ensuring that all funds and monies accruing to the Federation Account are so remitted, that he has directed the CBN to transfer the funds to the Consolidated Funds.
– Tony Ailemen, Abuja