SERAP Urges Tinubu To Uphold Workers’ Right To Living Wage

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Foremost civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged President Bola Tinubu to ensure that the anticipated Bill on the new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers is fully consistent with Nigeria’s international obligations to promote and advance the right of workers to an adequate living wage.

SERAP, which made the call through a statement issued by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, insisted that the Executive Bill should reflect the international standards that Nigerian workers should be provided, at a minimum, with a living wage, in accordance with prevailing cost of living.

The civil society organisation, however, maintained that the reportedly proposed minimum wage in the Executive Bill is grossly inadequate and falls short of the requirements of international human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party.

It also reminded the President that Nigerian workers face many human rights challenges and that most of the people living in poverty work, but yet they do not earn a wage sufficient to afford an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families.

The group’s letter reads 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.”

SERAP, which added that, “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,” posited that “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.

“The preparation of the executive bill provides you and your government an important opportunity to respect, protect, promote, and advance the rights of Nigerian workers to an adequate living wage and fair remuneration.

“We urge you to take concrete steps to defend the rights of Nigerian workers to an adequate living wage.”

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