Nigeria’s Minimum Wage Now N19,355 – World Bank Says, Reveals Factors Hindering Growth

At $68, Nigeria’s Minimum Wage Ranks Lowest In Global Survey

1 year ago
7 mins read

At a paltry $68, Nigeria’s minimum wage – which measures the baseline income level for workers in a given jurisdiction –  remains the lowest, according to a global survey.

Ideally, minimum wage is expected to be enough to cover the basic needs like food and housing, but not always a guarantee.

But data gleaned from Picodi, which presented values from 67 countries as of January 2023 put Nigeria’s $68 as the last, coming behind Uzbekistan ($72) and India ($95).

Minimum wage by Country

The following table shows the values representing the monthly minimum wage a full-time worker receives in each of the 67 countries reviewed by Picodi which also states that the figures are net of taxes and have been converted to USD. It also shows the percentage increase of income wage in the individual countries  between 2022 and 2023,

S/N            Country                                 Minimum Wage as of Jan. 2023 (Full-time USD)

  1.          Cyprus                                                         $854
  2.        Argentina                                                      $33
  3.             Turkey                                                       $457
  4.        Maldova                                                          $180
  5.          Latvia                                                            $555
  6.       Malaysia                                                         $289
  7.       Pakistan                                                         $111
  8.       Romania                                                     $393
  9.      Germany                                                     $ 1,594
  10.     Belarus                                                        $189
  11.      Lithuania                                                   $646
  12.    North Macedonia                                      $298
  13.       Mexico                                                   $315
  14.    Chile                                                         $369
  15.    Russia                                                     $224
  16.   Uzbekistan                                          $72
  17.   U.S                                                          $1,550
  18.     Paraguay                                            $323
  19.   Croatia                                                 $571
  20.   Hungary                                               $383
  21.   Albania                                                 $265
  22.   Serbia                                                   $347
  23. UK                                                           $1,705
  24. Slovakia                                                  $572
  25. South Africa                                           $226
  26. Uruguay                                                  $424
  27. Philippines                                             $141
  28. Greece                                                     $626
  29. Brazil                                                       $232
  30. India                                                        $95
  31. Portugal                                                  $690
  32. Indonesia                                               $173
  33. Slovakia                                                  $572
  34. Armenia                                                 $138
  35. Luxemburg                                             $2,140
  36. Bulgaria                                                  $315
  37. Peru                                                          $233
  38. Israel                                                       $1,389
  39. Saudi Arabia                                          $958
  40.  Hong Kong                                           $959
  41. Thailand                                                $195
  42. France                                                   $1,380
  43. Australia                                             $2,022
  44. Vietnam                                              $162
  45. Ukraine                                              $146

46. Nigeria                                               $68

Developed countries generally have a higher cost of living and would require higher minimum wage; however, Argentina and Turkey are two outlier countries that have increased their minimum wage by as much as 100% or more from January 2022 levels.

With an ongoing currency crisis and the lira losing  more than 40% of its value in 2021, Turkey saw prices of basic goods increasing. A 2022 survey found that 70 percent of people in Turkey struggle to pay for food.

South America’s second largest  economy, Argentina, also suffers hyper inflation, forcing the country to announce three minimum wage increases in 2022.

The Nigeria Situation

Nigeria, the lowest-paying in nominal and real value, has hat its currency, the Naira, lose as much as 200% value in official exchange rate. The current minimum wage in Nigeria is NGN30,000.00 per month; it became valid on April 18, 2019 and has not be reviewed, four years after despite skyrocketing double-digit inflation and other foreign exchange distortions.

READ ALSO: INFLATION: Nigeria’s N30k Minimum Wage Now Worth N19,355 – World Bank

The Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria which phased off old currency notes of N200, N500, and N1000 for new ones in January 2023 created artificial scarcity of the notes (old and new)  raising costs and putting the economy in more confusion.

Cost of goods and services has remained high as double-digit inflation continues to distort fiscal policy implementation and create untold hardship in a critical election year heralding democratic transition.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the annual inflation rate in Nigeria accelerated for the second month to a near 17-1/2-year high of 21.91% in February 2023, from 21.82% in the prior month and surpassing market expectations of 21.85%.

Food prices – the most relevant in the CPI basket –  climbed further to 24.35% in February, after rising  by 24.32% in the preceding month, partly due to the scarcity of the redesigned Naira notes and amid persistent food shortages.

Prime Business Africa reports that, in recent months, Nigeria faced an unprecedented cash crunch as a result of CBN’s naira redesign policy. The annual core inflation rate, excluding farm produce, eased slightly to 18.84% in February from a 16-year high of 19.16% in the prior month.  But, on a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 1.71%, slowing from a 1.86% increase in the prior month – the strongest in about 16 years


Minimum Wage in the U.S

Minimum wage within the US  significantly varies by state and visualising each  states’ basic minimum rate (hourly) would require use of latest data from the U.S. Department of  Labor.

However, America’s federal minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2009 at $7.25 per hour. While each state is allowed to set its own minimum wage as long as it’s higher than the federal minimum.

For someone who, for instance, works about 40 hours a week,  the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would amount to about $15,080 per year before taxes; whereas, California’s minimum wage of $15.50 amounts to $32, 240 before taxes every year.



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