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Financial pundits’ weekend introduced fresh angle of reality to the new minimum wage of N30,000 as signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
In an interview weekend in Lagos, a Development Economist, Dr. Ken Igbanugo, argued that “Even though many Nigerians are happy on the new minimum wage that apparently suggests an increase in purchasing power of workers, in real sense of it, we are only celebrating the impact of a weak national currency which has suffered veiled devaluation knowingly by the Federal Government but through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)..
“Recall that in 2010, when minimum wage was moved to N18,000, the value then was USD 117. Today the same minimum wage has been reduced to USD83 (N30,000), due to poor value of naira, but in the minds of many, it represents an increment.
“To me it does not represent increment but failed or failing economy in terms of currency value and true picture of Nigerians’ purchasing powers.
Dr Igboanugo called on the leadership of Nigerian workers’ to always seek stable economy and currency from every government in power than mere increase in salaries because the true salary is the value of the take home and not the amount.
The expert stressed that the “Nigerian workers should be disturbed that $117, which used to be their minimum wage in 2010 is now reduced to $83, instead of thinking that their least monthly take home has been increased from N18,000 to N30,000, warning that “If the government fails to do the needful, in few years, minimum wage may down to as low as $50 which may by then amount to N45,000”.
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