The recent pronouncement by the National Economic Council that the minimum wage has been raised to N18,000 last week caused a lot of outrage. The news came on the heels of another ironic story that the members of the house earn some N28m per quarter or N9.3m per month. So, rather than make people happier the increase turned out an insult to the resilience and aspiration of the teeming populace when compared to what the reps we earning.
As expected people made the most of their feelings heard on radio shows, TV commentaries and on the Internet. But thats where it ends isn’t it? We all make some “noise” about it and that’s it. Same old ranting, same old tactis. Sad part is the reps are still being fed with pork while we’re left with the crumbs.
But if Naija were France what would have happened? The French recently increased their retirement age by 2 years from 60 to 62 just last week. Days before it was past into law, the people took to the streets and made their opposition to the law heard with an often over the top but mostly peaceful demonstration.
In France the minimum wage is around EUR1,340 while the members of parliament earn a basic salary of around EUR7,000 about 5.2 times the minimum wage compared to about 516 times what our reps earn over our minimum wage. So imagine if they woke up one morning like we did and learnt that the members of their parliament were earning 516 times our minimum wage how loud do you think their “noise” will be? Your guess is as good as mine.