MINIMUM WAGE: 5 Things 22,500 Naira Can Never Buy
So, rising from an emergency meeting on Tuesday, October 30th over the minimum wage, Nigerian Governors said they can only afford to pay an additional 4,500-naira minimum wage, making it 22,500 naira.
The labour unions have already kicked against this, insisting that what they want is 30,000 naira.
Assuming the Labour Unions eventually settle for the sum, how can additional 4,500 naira improve the standard of living of a typical Nigerian household that receives this as monthly pay?
That’s pretty much what is on everyone’s mind.
To say that survival on a monthly income of 22,500 naira monthly is very tough would be putting things mildly, and to illustrate this point, we've put together a list of 5 basic things you may never afford while living on a 22,500-naira minimum wage.
1. 3 Square Meals: Depending on what city you live in, a plate of regular food such as rice or any swallow will be around 200 to 300-naira. If you divide your salary by 30 days, you will have 750-naira per day.
So, if you decide to eat 3 times a day, it means there will be nothing left for transport, buy and wash your clothes or even recharge your phone. So, forget 3 square meals, it is beyond your reach.
2. Getting Further Education: If you had planned to work for a while to be able to save some money to further your education, relying on a 22,500-naira minimum wage isn’t an option.
Also Read: Edo Govt. Ready To Pay N30,000 Minimum Wage
Assuming you already hold an O’Level certificate, you would need to save up to 5,000 naira to even purchase JAMB form. And when you pass and are admitted, you would need more than 50,000 naira, depending on the public tertiary institution, to even accept the admission.
So, you would need a scholarship to pull it off, as the minimum wage offers little to no help.
Now, if you are now a parent, you can’t send your child to school, unless it is a public school.
3. New Clothes: Assuming all that comes into your hand every month is the 22,500-naira wage from your employer, you cannot possibly wear newly made clothes. A newly made outfit, whether tailor-made or imported, costs no less than 2,500 at the very least.
You can imagine how badly that will affect your finances if you remove such a sum all at once. If you must wear new clothes, then the opportunity cost may involve going extra days without food. So, you are likely to wear only imported used-clothes, also known as okirika.
4. You Can’t Affordable Quality Healthcare: Quality healthcare is not cheap at all. Even in public hospitals that offer heavily subsidised costs for treatment, at some point, patients are always asked to pay some money for drugs at the very least. Now, with 22,500 Naira as monthly income, having to make out any extra money for treatment will be a major inconvenience.
5. You Can Only Live In A Self-Contained Apartment: Yes, that’s correct. Unless you live in the outskirt of the city beyond civilization, then you can't afford to live in more than a one-room self-contain apartment alone where you get to pay as much as 100,000 naira for a mini-flat apartment.
In many other places across Nigeria, a mini flat goes for between 200-350,000-naira, which is beyond your reach if your annual income is less than 300,000 naira.
So, it means the majority of Nigerians who earn the minimum wage can only struggle to afford the basic things in life. They can’t eat well, get a better education that will improve their lot or those of their children. They also cannot afford a decent accommodation.