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The epic story of minimum wage in Nigeria has been marked by prospects, challenges, promises, and the urgent need for a sustainable solution to uplift workers and address economic disparities. Achieving a minimum wage in Nigeria has never been straightforward; it often involves intense negotiations and clashes of interest among stakeholders, namely the government, private sector employers, and organised labour.

Following the announcement of the removal of the fuel subsidy by the current administration as an austerity measure to reduce the government fiscal deficit, thought leaders have called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

In an attempt to mitigate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, the Government of Nigeria announced a 35,000 Naira wage award (wage subsidy) for six months. However, many states are unable to pay this allowance. The issue of minimum wage in Nigeria remains contentious despite all efforts to raise it. The current minimum wage is, at best, a drop in the ocean compared to today’s realities.

Business organisations, as key players in the economic sector, are not oblivious to the resultant hardship and are not immune to the prevailing high cost of doing business. For individual workers and their families, the cost of living has ushered in an unprecedented wave of uncertainties.

As HR professionals and business leaders navigate this complex landscape, thoughtful strategies are necessary to address the minimum wage challenge effectively. It is essential for HR business leaders to balance the well-being of employees with maintaining business viability. One way to achieve this is for HR professionals to create interactive links between business image and social mission.


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