The United States has lambasted Nigeria over its inability to increase minimum wage for workers.
The “2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” published on the the Department of State website has dealt a heavy blow on the Nigerian ministry of works, in the published report, the US government addressed issues ranging from the Nigerian workers work environment/condition to the seeming insurmountable minimum wage problem.
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The report said:
“The legal national monthly minimum wage was 18,000 naira ($49.54). Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from this minimum, and the large majority of workers were not covered.
“There was no official estimate for the poverty income level. Implementation of the minimum wage, particularly by state governments, remained sporadic despite workers’ protests and warning strikes. In general, penalties were not sufficient to deter violations.
“The law mandates a 40-hour workweek, two to four weeks of annual leave, and overtime and holiday pay, except for agricultural and domestic workers. The law does not define premium pay or overtime. The law prohibits excessive compulsory overtime for civilian government employees.
“The law establishes general health and safety provisions, some aimed specifically at young or female workers. The law requires employers to compensate injured workers and dependent survivors of workers killed in industrial accidents.
“The law provides for the protection of factory employees in hazardous situations. The law does not provide other nonfactory workers with similar protections. The law applies to legal foreign workers, but not all companies respected these laws.
“By law workers may remove themselves from situations that endangered health or safety without jeopardy to their employment, but authorities did not effectively protect employees in these situations.
“The Ministry of Labor and Employment is responsible for enforcing these standards. The Labor Ministry employs factory inspectors and labor officers, and 42 inspectors are dedicated to enforcing laws related to child labor, but its Inspectorate Department stated it did not have sufficient staff to properly monitor and enforce health and safety conditions.
“The department is tasked to inspect factories’ compliance with health and safety standards, but it was underfunded, lacked basic resources and training, and consequently did not sufficiently enforce safety regulations at most enterprises, particularly construction sites and other nonfactory work locations.
“Labor inspections mostly occurred randomly but occasionally occurred when there was suspicion, rather than actual complaints, of illegal activity. In addition the government did not enforce the law strictly. Authorities did not enforce standards in the informal sector, which included the majority of workers.”