Saturday, May 25, 2024

Abuja residents worry over delay in implementation of new minimum wage

The residents who spoke in Abuja, specifically urged the committee handling the process to double their efforts to cushion the effects of government economic policies.

• April 13, 2024
Abuja City Gate [Wikipedia]
Abuja City Gate [Photo: Wikipedia]

Some residents of Abuja have called for a speedy increase in the minimum wage to help Nigerians cope with the current economic difficulties.

The residents, who spoke in separate interviews on Saturday in Abuja, specifically urged the committee handling the process to double their efforts to cushion the effects of government economic policies on Nigeria.

Upon assuming office in 2023, President Bola Tinubu removed fuel subsidy, leaving the cost of the product to the forces of demand and supply. The measure led to hikes in the prices of petroleum products, transportation, food items, and other services.

The recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Consumer Price Index has indicated rising inflation rates that hit 31.70 per cent in February 2024, up from 29.90 per cent recorded in January.

The developments are without a corresponding rise in workers’ income.

Analysts have, thus, advised the tripartite committee inaugurated on January 30 to review the current minimum wage of N30,000 to ensure that the new wage reflects current economic realities and the evolving economic landscape.

Ladu Tarfa, a public servant residing in Kado, said that workers’ incomes should be reviewed upwards to encourage productivity.

Ms Tarfa said many families were struggling to afford the basic necessities of life because their income could no longer cover them, as prices of food, education, and transportation have skyrocketed.

A civil servant residing in Lugbe, Gwamkat Gwamzhi, appealed to the government to have mercy on ordinary Nigerians, as the increase in the prices of essential goods was exacerbating hardship in the country.

“Gas is within N1,250 to N1300 per kg; petrol is between N617 and N700, depending on location; with a N30,000 minimum wage, it is difficult to cope,” she said.

An entrepreneur residing in Kubwa, Ruth Isa, said the state of the economy required the government to urgently increase the minimum wage and create more opportunities for its citizens to facilitate ease of doing business and entrepreneurial ventures.

Similarly, a cleric, Samuel Gorro, urged the government to formulate pro-poor policies and avoid causing additional difficulties for poor Nigerians through their policies.

Mr Gorro, the executive director of the Centre for the Advancement of Peace in Nigeria, criticised the fact that even without an increase in the minimum wage, the electricity tariff was recently increased.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission recently approved a 300 per cent increase in the electricity tariff from April 1 for urban consumers known as Band A consumers.

A civil servant, Sarah Isa, said the Nigeria Labour Congress should insist on a substantial wage increase that would benefit workers at all levels.


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