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Nigeria: Govt workers salaries increased by up to 35 percent

2024   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


In commemoration of May day, the Nigerian government has announced the approval of a 25 percent and 35 percent salary increase for some categories of workers in the country.

A statement signed on Tuesday by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) said the increases included government workers in the education, health and security sectors.

The increase was back-dated to January 2024, and the lowest-paid government employee will earn 450,000 naira ($323.97) a year or 37,500 monthly, according to the NSIWC's statement.

Nigeria's labour unions have been agitating for an increase in wages and salaries since last year when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu effected the removal of subsidies on petrol upon his assumption of office.

Since then inflation in Africa's most populous nation has skyrocketed, reaching nearly 35 per cent in March, the highest in three decades. Additionally, the value of the Naira the country's currency has plummetted against the dollar, losing 60 per cent, thereby worsening the cost of living crisis.

Many Nigerians groan under the harsh economic situation and lament that their take-home pay is not in tune with today's reality and must be substantially increased.

Yet the news of the May Day increase in the salary of civil servants is being met with mixed reactions in the West African nation. Some labour unions say what was more important was a general increase in the country's minimum wage. 

"These categories of workers are already in the privileged sector but we expect it to be extended also to other categories of civil servants who are in the lower cadre and are vulnerable," the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) spokesman Comrade Benson Upah told local media.

Since 2019, Nigeria's minimum wage has been set as 30,000 naira per month, an amount that is now worth less than 20 dollars with the naira's devaluation.

Negotiations between the government and the main labour unions about an increase in the minimum wage are ongoing.

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