Should Government Workers Celebrate The New Minimum Wage?
Government workers in Nigeria are getting excited about the newly approved minimum wage of 18,000naira. Does this really call for jubilation? I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but I personally feel that what Nigerian workers need is not a new statutory minimum wage. They will be better off if the government focus her attention on arresting the factors responsible for eroding the purchasing power of the workers income. If the present attitude of our leaders in maintaining the social infrastructures continues, the newly approved statutory minimum wage will have less than the purchasing power of the old 7,500naira minimum wage.
It is not the volume, but the value!
I personally feel that everyone would have been better off, if government has concentrated on improving the supply of electricity and repairing the roads. Those two factors alone cost an average worker thousands of naira per month. so much fund is wasted from each workers income as they struggle to provide energy using petrol generator. The cost of transportation is also high because commercial vehicle owners pay heavily for maintenance of their vechicle due to bad roads and poor road networks.
Will The State Government Pay?
The state governments are already crying foul over the federal government action. They claim they can’t afford to pay the new minimum wage. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, knowing fully well that some are owing their workers more than one month salary (at the old minimum wage rate). How on earth do we think such states will be able to pay their workers the new minimum wage which is more than 100percent increase on the old rate.
Will The Private Sector Pay The New Minimum Wage?
The private sector will now have to contend with disgruntled workers who will be expecting automatic increase in their salary because of the pronouncement of the Federal government. Unfortunately, many workers in private organisation will be dissappointed. Such automatic increase in salary is not realistic. Presently, a lot of private firm are having challenges with running their operations on diesel driven generator, because there is a hike in the price of diesel. Unlike before when a litre of disel sold for 110naira, now it goes for as much as 140naira per liter. That is a sudden increase in overhead expenditure.
Just two months into the new year and there are already many challenges for the Nigerian Entrepreneur to combat with. Unfortunately, our leaders are too pre-occupy with the April election to bother about the state of the economy. They are not helping matters in any way as their reckless spending is putting pressure on the economy. The warning from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the need for the executive to cut down on recurrent spending seems to be falling on deaf ears.
Nigerian entrepreneurs need to re-strategize in order to cope with the unforeseen result of these government policies. Every wise entrepreneur need to watch his/her overhead expenditure this year. It is obvious that there are challenges ahead. What is your opinion about the new minimum wage?