Workers’ Day: Civil servants lament hardship under Buhari govt (

Workers’ Day: Civil servants lament hardship under Buhari govt


Between 2001 and 2014, Nigeria was a rising growth star in West Africa, with an average growth rate of seven per cent per year, and among the top 15 fastestgrowing economies globally.

The Consumer Price Index, reported by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in March 2023, indicated that Nigerias inflation rate accelerated to a new 17year high of 22.04 per cent.

The unfortunate development came with increasing prices of commodities in the market, worsening the welfare of Nigerian workers.

According to the World Bank, Nigeria has one of the highest inflation rates globally and the seventh highest in subSaharan Africa in 2022.

A recent market survey across several major markets in Nigeria revealed that the prices of food items and other essential commodities increased by over 100 percent in the last five years.

This is evident in the price differences observed on all commodities almost on a daily basis, leaving Nigerian workers to spend more than their earnings to get food, shelter, and other important needs.

According to the recent survey, a bag of rice (local or foreign) which was hitherto sold for about N7,000 around 2016, has jumped to as high as N36,000 to N40,000 per 50 kg for some brands.

A sachet of tomato which used to sell for N50 is now being sold for as high as N150 or N200, while a loaf of bread has risen from N250 to N1000, across major cities in the country within the last five to ten years.

Transportation fare is another bone of contention in major cities across the nation.

Latest data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS, published in January 2023 revealed that the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop increased by nearly 100 per cent in November 2022.

The development has plunged Nigerians, especially low income earners into unbearable hardship.

Some civil servants, who spoke to DAILY POST, called for immediate review of the current minimum wage, stating that the N30,000 minimum wage is no longer workable with the present economic reality.

A lecturer in the faculty of social science, Benue State University, Dr Grace Adejor told DAILY POST that the outgoing administration did not prioritise workers welfare.

According to her, what people earn these days, especially those in the minimum wage category can no longer put food on their table.

They did that just to create confusion for us and the next administration, he said.

The ASUU boss argued that every salary increase in the government service that is not a negotiated structure ought to include every sector, including the police and even the military.

Also speaking, Mary Agene of the Federal Ministry of Health told our correspondent that they have concluded plans to exit the country in search of greener pastures.

According to Mary, a professional nurse, several of her colleagues, who left in 2022, are currently doing well in Europe.

She said, The system in this country is very bad.

This, in turn, may affect society later.

DAILY POST recalls that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige in March 2023 revealed that the Federal Government had approved a pay rise for civil servants.

Some of the civil servants, last week, confirmed the salary increase.

But the National President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke told our correspondent that lecturers were excluded from the pay rise.

According to him, the FG deliberately omitted the union from the list to cause confusion.

It is just deliberate.


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