With the Naira cascading southwards against international currencies, those who earn the minimum wage of N18,000 per month now live far below poverty line! Apart from the value of their monthly take home pay being affected, they are coping with skyrocketing prices of essential items as inflation hovers around 16.5 percent and salaries cut or unpaid for months.
At yesterday’s black market rate (Wednesday, July 20), N18,000 exchanged for $48 at the rate of N375/$1. And that is $1.54 per day, well below the $2 per day per person threshold of poverty.
To think that those who earn minimum wage cater for many family members, a minimum of four, the monthly pay averages less than 40 cents per person per day in that household where he’s possibly the bread winner.
Even when the official rate of N295 is used, the minimum wage earner is not faring any better. His salary is $61.01 per month, and $1.96 per day.
The man who earns N18,000 per month, at N580.6 per day, actually has N145.1 to his name if he has a wife and two children.
What can N580.6 do for a family of four? Not much as the collapsing economy has further reduced the value of wages, with high prices of goods and services beyond reach.
Recent analysis shows that practically prices of all items are affected, with some doubling or tripling. From cost of transportation to petrol, food items to kerosene and gas, clothes to rent and more.
With all these items competing for N18,000, many are dehumanized, cutting corners at the risk of their health and well being.
– Agbolade Owolabi for encomium.ng