Reps to Set up Committee on New Minimum Wage

The House of Representatives has taken a decisive step towards ensuring fair wages for all workers across the nation by establishing an ad hoc committee. This move follows the approval of a motion presented by 35 members during a session held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Aliyu Madaki (NNPP-Kano State), who introduced the motion, highlighted the pressing issue of inflation, which has significantly hindered the average Nigerian’s ability to afford essential necessities such as food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transportation, and clothing.

Madaki emphasized that the escalating inflation rate has resulted in a substantial increase in the cost of living, particularly impacting expenses related to food, accommodation, education, and transportation.

Furthermore, he underscored Nigeria’s commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He quoted Article 23 of the declaration as stating that every individual working had the right to just and favourable remuneration to ensure such a person and his/her family existed in dignity.

Madaki said that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) had a 2030 achievement deadline, adding that eight out of the 17 SDGs required the payment of a living wage to be achieved.

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

Madaki recalled that the speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, had, at an event, said that only a living wage that could ameliorate the insecurity and corruption pervading the country was required at this time.

“Recall that when the fuel subsidy was removed in May 2023, the Federal Government offered palliatives to cushion its effects.

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“However, the ameliorative effect of this measure has been overtaken by the continued rise in the cost of goods and services.

“We are aware that a wage award was granted by the president recently, but the purchasing power is low, owing to the continued rise in the cost of living in the country and the fall of the naira.

“We are also aware that Trade Economics in 2018 reported the living wage for an individual Nigerian and a Nigerian family to be N43,200 per month and N137,600 per month, respectively. This was a pre-subsidy removal report.

“Further note that presently, no labourer can live in Nigeria with a wage of less than N100,000.00,” he said.

The lawmaker said that unless immediate and pragmatic steps were taken to improve the income of Nigerians, more citizens would go down the economic line, with the poor population increasing.

According to him, this, in effect, will lead to desperation and a loss of faith in the government.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, said that the outcome of the process would be sent to the Senate for concurrence.

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