Reps back NLC, ask FG to provide living wage for workers

Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday tasked the Federal Government on the need to accede to clarion call by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) by providing living wage for workers across the country.

This is as the lawmakers warned 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. This in effect, would lead to desperation and a loss of faith in the government.”

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Bamidele Salam and 36 other lawmakers, who affirmed that “presently, no labourer can live in Nigeria with a wage of less than N100,000.”

Leading the debate, Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Aliyu Madaki expressed grave concern over the rising rate of inflation in the country, which has made at difficult for the average Nigerian to afford basic needs such as food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transportation and clothing.

“The House also notes that the rising inflationary rate in the country has also had a negative effect on the cost of living, with the cost of food, accommodation, education, and transportation skyrocketing.

“The House is aware that Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 23 of the Declaration 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’.

“The House is also aware 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 House recalls that when the fuel subsidy was removed in May 2023, the federal government offered palliatives to cushion its effects. However, the ameliorative effect of this measure has been overtaken by the continued nse in the cost of goods and services.

“The House is further aware that the minimum wage (in Nigeria) was increased 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.

“The House is again 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 is a pre-subsidy removal report:

“The House further notes that presently no labourer can live in Nigeria with a wage of less than one hundred thousand Naira.

“The House is concerned that according to the World Bunk report, low purchasing power m the country occasioned by a huge inflationary rate, thus led to an increase in poverty across the country.

“The House also recalls that the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives had on September 29, 2023, at the State Banquet in Abuja, opined that it is only a living wage that can ameliorate the insecurity and corruption pervading the country.

“The House is worried 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. This in effect, would lead to desperation and a loss of faith in the government,” the lawmakers warned.

In the bid to fast-track the process, the House resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to look into modalities for the payment of living wages to Nigerian workers at rates that match economic realities.

To this end, the House resolved to transmit the resolution to the Senate for concurrence.

<<Tribune>>