Hungary has joined the growing list of countries around the world who have recently taken steps to increase their minimum wage in order to make life better for their citizens. But Nigeria continues to lag behind in this regard.
A statement by the Hungarian Government said a decision was reached to increase minimum wage (by 8%) to $528 starting from 2019. Plans are also in the works to further increase minimum wage by another 8% in 2020.
The Hungarian Minister of Finance, Mr Mihaly Varga, who disclosed the planned increase in minimum wage, also noted that the move is expected to improve the standard of living of Hungarians.
“The agreement was signed by all parties concerned, including the government, all employer interest representations, and worker organisations, with the exception of the National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions.
“with this significant rise in minimum wages – the same as in the past few years – also next year we will be able to observe a major pay increase in Hungary which will further improve the financial situation of Hungarian families.”
Other countries have increased their minimum wages
As we reported last month, the French Government announced that it would be increasing minimum wage in the country by an additional €100 starting early this New Year.
President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to increase minimum wage following a series of nearly-violent protests that raged across different cities, including the French capital, Paris.
Addressing his people shortly after announcing the minimum wage increment, Mr Macron had stressed that “we want a France where one can live in dignity through one’s work and on this, we have gone too slowly. I ask the government and parliament to do what is necessary.”
Meanwhile, in late November last year, neighbouring South Africa had also announced that it has increased its minimum wage to some N126,000; a decision that would take effect this month.
Why is Nigeria reluctant to do the needful?
Currently, Nigerian workers are among those earning the least minimum wage in the whole world. And despite many agitations for a change in this trend, the Government of the day has remained reluctant.
One of the arguments against minimum wage increment in Nigeria has been that doing so would trigger inflation. But the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, have previously dispelled this speculation. According to him, “it is not true and has no empirical bases that an upward review of minimum wage would trigger inflation in the country.”