WIKKIDATA: What can Nigeria’s Minimum Wage Buy?

Nigeria is currently facing a difficult economic situation as citizens grapple with a significant hike in the cost of living, exacerbated by soaring prices of essential commodities.

This report takes a look at the value of the Nigerian minimum wage amid all of these crisis.

The price surge has seen items rise by as much as 400% to 600% compared to when the current minimum wage was approved in the last five years. This has sparked widespread concern and protests across major cities in the country.

The sudden hike in prices has been attributed to the removal of fuel subsidies in May by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the free floating of Naira, but this has inadvertently led to inflationary pressures on consumer goods.

Protests over the high cost of living have persisted in some states, including Niger, Kano, and other states in the country.

WIKKIDATA: Bauchi Receives N75.2 Billion FAAC Allocation in 2023

Despite the existing minimum wage of N30,000 per month, many workers find themselves unable to afford even basic food items.

For instance, a one-month salary is insufficient to purchase just half a 100kg bag of maize or a 50kg bag of rice, which now sell at approximately N66,000 and N64,000, respectively.

- Advertisements -
NNPC Mega Filling Station

This would mean that the minimum wage cannot at the moment buy a half bag of rice.

WikkiTimes sampled data published by the National Bureau of Statistics in December for food prices using Northern States as the template (most of the food prices in the Northern region are cheaper compared to other region of the country), analysis show that the minimum wage as of then, can buy Nineteen pieces of Golden Penny (2kg), it can also buy 80 pieces of Yam tubers.

Further review shows that the minimum wage of N30,000 can buy 24 bottles of groundnut oil or 26 bottles of Palm Oil.

Clamors for Increased Minimum Wage Heightens Amid Non-Execution of N30,000 Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) reiterated calls for a substantial increase in the minimum wage to address the escalating cost of living.

In August 2023, barely two months after the fuel subsidy removal, the NLC proposed negotiations for a minimum wage hike to either N100,000 or N200,000 per month, citing the urgent need to mitigate the impact of rising prices on workers’ welfare.

WikkiData: Defence Ministry Got N5.11 Trillion in Four Years as Badaru Kicked 2024 Budgetary Allocation

Nigeria has witnessed increases over the years. In 2000, the minimum wage stood at N2,000 per month, rising to ₦5,500.00 per month in 2004 and further, to ₦18,000.00 per month with the enactment of the National Minimum Wage Act of 2011.

In 2019, amidst advocacy for a substantial wage hike, discussions centered around increasing the minimum wage to over 50,000 Naira.

Eventually, an agreement was reached, and the minimum wage was increased to ₦30,000.00 per month, although many argued that it was insufficient to address the economic realities faced by Nigerian workers even then.

Despite the minimum wage, some states in the country are even unable to pay N30,000 as minimum wage to their workers, raising concerns on the ability of same states to pay more than N30,000, if the minimum wage gets increased.

As of October, 2023, it was reported by BudgIT that fifteen states out of the country’s Thirty-six states were still not paying minimum wage painting a dire situation for the ability of the country to effectively increase minimum wage across board.

While the government has promised different interventions, the inflation has continued, creating fears of further hardship and economic uncertainties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest stories

Most Read

Signup To WikkiTimes Newsletter