Why FG will not pay N615,000 minimum wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) proposed a new minimum wage of N615,000 monthly, lamenting on the pressing economic difficulties and sharp increase in living expenses nationwide.

However many are doubting the feasibility of the NLC’s proposal for a minimum wage of N615,000 per month due to concerns that it ignores Nigeria’s economic realities.

According to Dataphyte, the demand surpasses the income bandwidth of people in a lower middle-class country such as Nigeria.

Income categorisation is often calculated using a country’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.


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This signifies what range of income employees in an economy receive.

Nigeria’s GNI per capita ranges from $1,136 to $4,465, positioning it as a lower middle-income economy.

The benchmark income range for lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria is between a monthly income of N118,547 and N464,100. Workers may expect something closer to the midpoint at N291,380 monthly.

According to the World Bank, the middle-income classification depicts a country with moderate economic development. These countries often experience rapid urbanisation and face challenges such as income inequality, limited access to healthcare and education, and infrastructure deficits.

The NLC’s proposal surpasses these established parameters, prompting criticism from the organised private sector and states.

They argue that implementing such a substantial wage increase may strain economic resources and disrupt existing financial frameworks.

The call for a higher minimum wage is due to growing living expenses.

However, the country’s general income levels limit the aspiration for a pay rise that is commensurate with the inflationary rate.

All the same, going by the country’s economic realities, any minimum wage less than N118,547 is too low and any pay rise beyond N464,100 may be unaffordable for employers of labour in the private and public sectors.

In other words, the NLC’s push for N615,000 may not be feasible.


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