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Align New Minimum Wage Bill with International Standards, SERAP Tells Tinubu

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Bola Tinubu to ensure his administration’s proposed minimum wage bill aligns with Nigeria’s international obligations.

SERAP’s appeal follows Tinubu’s announcement during his Democracy Day speech on June 12, where he indicated plans to introduce a bill to the National Assembly that would establish a new minimum wage for the next five years.

In a letter dated June 15, 2024, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization expressed concerns that the proposed minimum wage falls significantly short of international standards.

The letter read in part: “Any proposed minimum wage that fails to guarantee a life in dignity for Nigerian workers and their families would be entirely inconsistent and incompatible with international standards.”

“Successive governments have persistently and systematically violated these guarantees. Millions of Nigerian workers remain poor due mainly to low wages and a lack of social security and social protection.

“If your government sends to the National Assembly any bill which fails to meet the requirements of international standards, and the bill is then passed into law, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

“The proposed recommendations are not unrealistic, as they are based on Nigeria’s international human rights obligations. Human rights are not a matter of charity. Upholding Nigeria’s international obligations regarding the right of workers to an adequate living wage would protect the purchasing power of workers in poverty.”

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