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The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? - Politics - Nairaland

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The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? by ivandragon: 7:35am On May 21
This piece is entirely my own personal opinion. I welcome constructive criticism.

There is no gain saying that the Nigerian economy is in a mess at the moment. Whether you support the APC or not, the glaring truth is that the present trajectory of the economy is worrisome.

The main issue on the front burner at the moment is the minimum wage.

While labour has proposed 615k which is not realistic, the government has offered 48k which is ridiculous.

Though labour's position can be reasoned with, the truth is that the economy at this time cannot sustain such wage structure across board (government and private levels). The 48k is however too little to make a significant impact on the present level of hardship.

For any minimum wage to be impactful, it must be accompanied with either stability of current prices or more preferably, an immediate reduction in prices (let's leave all the inflation jargons for now).

Given this conundrum, I am of the opinion that Nigeria finds an innovative minimum wage structure to lean on for now. It does not have to copy any other country's pattern, but something unique to our present situation.

It would be a 4 pronged approach.

1. Devolution of the wage structure;
2. Reduction in government expenses;
3. Fixing of customs duties and
4. Addressing corruption through taxation.

1. Devolution of the Wage Structure

There needs to be a partial devolution of minimum wage that would depend on productivity, business structure & revenue. At least for now given our dire situation.

For instance, nano & micro businesses with annual turnover of less than N10m can have a minimum wage of 60k.

Small businesses with annual turnover of over N10m but less than N250m can have a minimum wage of N100k

Medium businesses with turnover of over N250m but less than N1bn can have a minimum wage of N130k.

Big businesses with turnover of over N1bn but less than N10bn can do N160k

Very big businesses can do N180k.

Governments should take a middle stance and do N126k.

Doing this should ease pressure a bit.

2. Reduction in Government Expenses

Cut cost of governance at all levels. To start, all elected officials and political appointees should be placed on the government minimum wage immediately. They should also make sacrifices.

Also, stop all purchase of foreign vehicles by government officials even if such vehicles have already been imported. Buy only locally assembled vehicles. Exceptions would of course be given to specialised vehicles (tractors, trailers, excavators etc) that can't be assembled in Nigeria.

3. Fix Customs Duties

Peg the customs exchange rate at N500 to a dollar.
A key reason why goods increase is due to high duties & instability. Government needs to sacrifice a bit by pegging customs duties at N500 for at least 1 year. By this, businesses can plan in the medium to long term.

Of course, the government has to ensure a drastic reduction in prices of goods and services by implementing policies to push down inflation within 6-10 months. So it would have to look at other areas too where levies can be reduced.

4. Address Corruption through Taxation

Rather than tax Nigerians to death, tie everyone's income to assets to taxes. Your assets must reflect your income and your income must reflect in your taxes. That's the only way to reduce corruption and also increase government revenue.

Today, we see people buying multiple cars worth hundreds of millions of naira. Buying houses worth billions every other month. Living extremely lavish lives... yet, their source of income is shrouded in secrecy and taxes are not reflective of thier assets and incomes.

It is ridiculous that a person has assets worth over N1bn but has an annual income of N8m and tax payment of less than N800k... these are the areas government loses money. For those who use fronts and companies, its even easier, check the revenue of the company and than its taxes.

Conclusion

Of course, there are other areas government needs to work on such as security, repairing infrastructure, reducing the overbloated workforce at government level and others, but within the present context of the minimum wage issues, the 4 measures might help.

Thanks for reading...

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Re: The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? by michlins(m): 7:48am On May 21
A government that measures success by the amount generated is what you're advising to step down on custom duties? It's not going to work.

Everything you said above is impossible with our current crop of leaders. They're there to maximize their own selfish interests and nothing else matters
Re: The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? by ivandragon: 8:20am On May 21
michlins:
A government that measures success by the amount generated is what you're advising to step down on custom duties? It's not going to work.

Everything you said above is impossible with our current crop of leaders. They're there to maximize their own selfish interests and nothing else matters

So what is the way out?
Re: The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? by SadiqBabaSani: 8:21am On May 21
Government of Hugh IGR and high poverty
Re: The Minimum Wage Conundrum: Is There A Way Out? by delkuf(m): 10:32am On May 21
The way Nigeria is currently structured, the best tinubu could do is give Nigeria workers a substable minimum wage. The government have refuse to cut there lavish life style. You bought latest SUV for senator and house of representatives. Increase the salary of judges by over a 100 percent, so President tinubu should also give a living minimum wage

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