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Exclusive Report: Nigerian Labour Congress and Minimum Wage: Secrets and Facts!

If you have been following the recent and political issues in Nigeria today even as we head to another election year in 2019, you should have heard about the Minimum Wage and how it has become a concern. The Minimum Wage is basically the least amount that any Nigerian worker should earn after they have reached the age to work or take up any work based on their qualifications.

For Nigeria, the last reviewed Minimum Wage is #18,000. Now, I believe you have heard civil servants say that they earn Minimum Wage of #18,000 and most of them say this when it has to do with a financial commitment that they do not want to commit. Even their dressing work shows that to you, so you bother notto probe or ask further.

Disclaimer: This is piece is not to defame anyone but to enlighten you as a citizen ofNigeria and the world.

Now, let’s get started and please follow and understand how this works.

The #18,000 in question so those who earn it in the Federal Civil Service or in the States are those in level 1 and most they are unskilled or semi-skilled workers like cleaners and drivers. That amount is basic salary and like every decent civil or public service, there are allowances outside the basic salary of #18,000. The allowances include; furniture allowance, housing allowances, transport allowances, overtime and others depend on your appointment with the government.

How are the allowances calculated?

A particular allowance (like housing) is a percentage of the basic salary(#18,000 for Level 1 and step 1 public servant). The step 1 means entry levelfor every level (till 17) and one must progress to 2, 3 until they are due tobe promoted to another level.

Let’s calculate. So, if the percentage for housing allowance is 10 percent for instance (the level 1 at 18,000), this will amount to #1,800 for a cleaner whois just starting. Let’s assume that 5 percent is for furniture that will be#900 and for transport or any other allowances we say 20 percent and thatbecomes #3,600.

There could be more allowances (like we stated) depending on your appointment. So, at the end of the month this cleaner goes home with #18,000 (basic) + #1,800 (housing) + #900 (furniture) + #3,600 (transport). This amounts to #24,300 monthly. Now, this changes if the overtime is calculated and this differs from every worker and how much extra you put in. The government, of course will tax this (5 or 10 percent), if you stay in a government quarters this will be deducted and every other charges and you are left with what you can call your take home.

In order not to waste your time, let’s do another example for a graduate or someone with Master’s degree. You have finished school and your parents tell you, you must enter government work that it is the best. And you are angry and shaking your head.

A graduate with a Master’s degree starts or enters the civil service most times at Level 9, it can be 8 but let’s take them as one and from our research the basic figure and salary is around 65,000 naira.

Now we also went further to find out the percentage of some workers’ allowances derived from the basic salary of 50-65,000 naira. This covers from Level 6 to 9. Housing allowance for Level 6 (step 1) worker is calculated by 24 percent of their basic. We found that there is an allowance known as Peculiar Allowance and the percentage is around 69 percent of the basic. Then the overtime allowance is around 116 percent of the basic and this is understandable since the person worked more than expected (for weekends and maybe special assignments).

Our research showed for a level 6 civil servant with the Federal Civil Service earned around 34,000 naira (basic), 8400 naira for housing allowance, Peculiar Allowance of 23,000 naira and Overtime allowance of 37,000 naira. In all, this worker who probably has a College of Education degree or B.Sc or from a Polytechnic will earn 102,000 naira in a month. When the deductions are made, the take home is around 93,500 naira.

Please, pause and think. How much do you earn in a bank or that one-man business with your education abroad or post-graduate degree?

The above stated example is real life and not any guesses even though we made some adjustments to the figure for easy calculation as you read this.

Things to Note about this Minimum Wage (not #18,000 take home pay)

  • As one goes higher in the service, the percentage for calculation of the allowances increases, as you climb to another it increases too.
  • A Director at the Federal Civil Service and that is for Grade Level 17 Step 9 gets N454,344 for basic salary and this amounts to N5,452,136 basic annual salary.
  • So, if you calculate his allowances based on the percentage for Level 17 (which we said increases at every level), you can imagine how much that Director is taking home monthly. (Click Here for More Information).

Now, to the Minimum Wage; why are workers and the Nigerian Labour frustrating our educational system? Why are they going on strike, when some at level 9 or 10 across every government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) earn more than someone who has been in the bank for 3 years in the private sector and still has time to do other things like a business, close by 3pm and choose to come when they like.

Can the Federal Government and States handle this?

As at 2014, the figure for the total of civil servants was placed at 870,000 by a House committee member. (Find out More). This figures must have changed either reduced or increased and with the creation of new agencies of government increase is more reliable. Moreso, there is no further detail on how much it costs to maintain one civil servant when it comes to the Minimum Wage payment. If we take an average figure of 300,000 naira for each civil servant per month, how much will that be in 12 months for the government? #261 billion naira for one month and 3.1 trillion for a year. My mathematics might be wrong but please do your Maths too. You can also reduce the average salary to 100,000 and calculate as well.

This does not include corpers and corpers do not get these allowance calculations so that cleaner earns more than corper (for those who only allawee). To end this, the President and all the elected public office holders have the same template for calculating theirs; the basic plus the allowances and they get their take home every month.

At end of it, it is still Minimum Wage the civil servants will be quick to tell you but not these details. Thanks for reading and do share your views below. Subscribe to us as well.

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