It was a step carried out by the federal government to increase standard of living for the masses. But, has it really?
The implementation of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2019.
At the state level, most governors in Nigeria consider it a nightmare and still find it difficult to commence payment. According to the report released by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) at end of the last quarter of 2019, only 5 states which include: Lagos, Adamawa, Kaduna, Jigawa and Kebbi State out of the 36 States in Nigeria have commenced full implementation.
Despite the good tidings its implementation seemingly came with, people are forced to think deeply if the increased minimum wage by few percentages have actually upgraded people's living conditions.
From the public polls carried out by the writer in the various states that have started paying the new minimum wage (30,000 naira) in recent times, cost of living have skyrocketed drastically as opposed to what was obtainable prior to the increase.
It was observed that with the slight raise in the sum payable as minimum wage comes also, the increase in the prices of goods and services rendered to the public.
According to Similoluwa Abiola, a resident of Ikeja Lagos State, there have been a hike in the prices of goods and even transportation.
"We do get a bag of local rice at the rate of 18,000 naira before but after the increase in minimum wage, we now get it at 21,000 naira. Also, from Ikeja to Berger was 50 naira before but now it's 100 naira. Some motorists even collect between 150 naira to 200 naira for that distance." She said.
In view of this, the Federal Government, with its goal to create a sustainable environment, must look into this issue critically and formulate other policies and programmes that will increase the quality of life of its citizenry. Also, other empowerment schemes should be introduced to the public so as to enable good governance capable of being felt not just at the top but at the grassroot level.