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Workers lament as delay in ₦35,000 wage award exacerbates hardship amid soaring prices



Workers lament as delay in ₦35,000 wage award exacerbates hardship amid soaring prices

The Agony of Delay: Workers Struggle Amidst Unfulfilled Promises


Nigerian workers are grappling with the distressing delay in the payment of the promised ₦35,000 wage award by the Federal Government, intended to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal. The prolonged waiting period has deepened the financial woes of citizens, prompting concerns about the ripple effects on their well-being and productivity.


Voices of desperation: Workers speak out on financial strain


In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), workers expressed their dismay over the delayed wage award, highlighting the severe consequences on their ability to meet basic needs and maintain a decent standard of living. Christopher Samuel, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), emphasized the detrimental effects on workers’ financial stability.


Samuel conveyed, “Workers are heavily indebted as a result of the astronomic increase in the cost of goods and services, including transportation. I can assure you that this can have a very negative effect. It will breed sharp practices in the workplace as workers strive to survive.”


Struggling to survive: The impact on productivity and confidence


Mustapha Lamidi, a staff member of the Ministry of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, decried the delay, asserting that the intended purpose of the wage award/palliative had been defeated. Lamidi lamented, “As I am talking to you now, most civil servants are yet to access even the first award, talk less of the second one.”


He continued, “Moreover, the continued increases in the prices of essential products are also contributing to the reason the palliative is not making a positive impact on civil servants as inflation continues to be on the rise.”


Mental and emotional toll: financial stress and anxiety


Christopher Egwuatu, Deputy National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management (NIFEngM), underscored the potential mental and emotional toll on individuals caused by financial stress. He explained, “For many workers, especially those with low incomes, the ₦35,000 palliative for just two months may not be sufficient to cover basic living expenses.”


Egwuatu warned, “This could lead to frustration and a sense of insecurity, especially if the economic conditions remain challenging. Anxiety about meeting basic needs, such as housing, food, and healthcare, can contribute to increased stress levels and potential health issues.”


Economic ripple effects: Impact on consumer spending and local businesses


Caroline Ogundipe, a civil servant, pointed out the broader economic implications of limited financial support. She expressed concern that reduced disposable income might lead to a decrease in consumer spending, affecting local businesses and the overall economy.


Ogundipe elaborated, “Insufficient financial support can have broader social implications, potentially leading to increased social inequality, crime rates, and other social challenges. Also, workers who feel unsupported during difficult times may experience a decline in job satisfaction and motivation.”


Call for sustainable solutions: Urgent need for long-term economic measures


In light of the current challenges, Ogundipe stressed the importance of long-term solutions to address economic hardships arising from the fuel price hike. She urged governments to consider sustainable and sufficient support programs that transparently communicate their duration and scope.


“It is essential for governments to consider the long-term economic implications of their support programs and ensure that they are sustainable and sufficient to meet the needs of the population. Transparent communication about the duration and scope of support can also help manage expectations and mitigate some of the negative effects on workers.”

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