The latest news on the minimum wage in Niger is that trade unions have threatened the state government in the country to embark on an indefinite strike if it fails to pay the newly revised wage, which was approved by the federal government on April 18, 2019. The new wage, which is higher than the current one, has been approved by the federal government of Nigeria on April 18, but it is still unclear whether the Niger State government has complied with the new requirement.
Niger’s minimum wage
The government of Niger state has been given 21 days to pay the revised minimum wage. If the government fails to pay this amount on time, the workers will start downing tools. The state government has been criticised for its nonchalance, and the trade unions have made their intentions clear. This is not the first time a state has ignored its workers. The federal government of Nigeria approved a new minimum wage on April 18, but it is the first time a state has refused to pay it.
In January, the Nigerian Labor Congress, the country’s main unions, and the government held an emergency meeting in Minna to discuss the matter. Both sides put their cards on the table, and both sides presented their respective proposals for an increase. However, the meeting ended in deadlock, with the government observing that workers in the health and medical sectors already made more than the minimum wage. The parties will reconvene on Monday to discuss the matter further.
The Council of Ministers also set the guaranteed minimum wage for each professional category. The decrees should be implemented after consultation with the Consultative Commission on Labour and Employment. In addition, it also specifies the rate and proportion of wage deductions. In addition, employers should display these rates at their premises and at their places of payroll. If the government does not enforce these laws, workers could be subject to legal proceedings. These processes are complicated and time-consuming.
In the country, the minimum wage is set on a monthly basis. The labour code is enforced by labour inspectors and controllers. Infractions of the labour code are punishable by a fine of 200,000 to 300 CFA Francs. In addition, a conviction carries a double fine. A salary consists of the basic wage plus any benefits the employer provides to its workers. The minimum wage is higher in some areas than in others.
Union of workers’ syndicates of Niger
The national trade union center in Niger is the Union of Workers’ Syndicates of Niger (UTSN). The UNTSN was first established in 1960 and was renamed in 1978. Its members are mainly from the oil sector and are largely service and transport companies. Its isolation from the more labour-intensive sectors of the oil industry is not conducive to the development of workers’ syndicates in Niger. Only five of the 155 oil companies in Onne are unionised.
The oil industry is highly fragmented, as the majority of workers are not from the Niger Delta. This fragmentation has reinforced the organisational divisions between the NUPENG and PENGASSAN. The two organisations also have different methods of recruitment. The NUPENG carries out systematic and aggressive recruitment, often in the presence of senior staff. Meanwhile, PENGASSAN rarely engages in active recruitment.
While industrial relations and labour conditions have improved in core industries in Nigeria, precarious work and contract work have been exacerbated. In Nigeria’s local communities and contract industries, the level of precarious work has been increasing, and the labour laws have not improved the situation. However, local content has created an industrial optimism and the hope of new jobs. It has created greater associational power, but it has also led to a patronage-based recruitment system.
The Nigerian oil unions are disempowered despite the large numbers of members and their potential. However, they must be mindful that they still have opportunities to make a difference. The future of the Niger Delta is at stake – it is the fate of the country and the people living there. Ultimately, their agency lies in how they take advantage of these opportunities and make them productive. We will see in the coming years the effects of the casualisation process in the Niger Delta, and how the labour power in the region is affected.
The newly approved minimum wage in Niger state has sparked a wave of protests in the country. Several trade unions have threatened the state government to pay its workers the new minimum wage. The Niger State government announced its decision on Thursday after extensive negotiations with organized labour and the unions. The new minimum wage in Niger is expected to be implemented from February 4, 2020. In addition to the minimum wage, workers have other entitlements that have been pending for several years.
In Niger, the average wage is 53 200 XOF. This is about two and a half times the average monthly wage. Inflation is currently at 11%, eating away at real incomes. The unemployment rate is 23%, exerting downward pressure on wage rates. 86.9 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. Hence, if the minimum wage is only 53 200 XOF, workers would receive a yearly raise of 7%.
The minimum wage in Niger is 165 XOF an hour, or EUR1,400 per month. The country has a wide range of salary levels, from 85,600 XOF to 1,510,000 XOF. While the average salary is higher than the actual maximum amount, salaries in Niger vary wildly from one career to another. Listed below are the average salary for specific job titles in Niger.
The monthly minimum wage in Niger is determined by decree. The government consults the Consultative Commission on Labour and Employment to determine the rate of the minimum wage. This rate does not include overtime, non-working days, or night work. There are also rates for attendance bonuses. The minimum rate of wages is posted in employers’ offices and places where employees pay staff. In addition, the minimum rate is paid to the unemployed. This is one of the few countries where the minimum wage is lower than the national average.
Currently, the unemployed in Niger are accounted for by 70,000 people. The formal minimum wage of the country is $2.40. Under IMF pressure, the Niger government is streamlining the civil service. The restructuring of the government’s departments will inevitably result in the layoffs of government employees. This, in turn, will inevitably lead to troubles for the government trade unions. Public sector unions represent 70 percent of the workforce, while unions in the private sector make up 50 percent. While this is a serious concern for the Niger government, it should be noted that strikes have the potential to cause civil unrest. Furthermore, public sector unions have been gaining support from students in opposition to privatization and against the minimum wage.
Gender equality in Niger is a challenge. In 2016, the rate of adolescent births in Niger was 154 per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years. In 2016, 12.9% of women ages 15-49 reported experiencing physical violence from their intimate partners. This figure has increased in the last three years. However, there is still much more work to be done. Women in Niger are not treated fairly by employers and must work harder to get ahead.
The newly elected government of Niger faced severe economic and financial problems when it took office. Its treasury was nearly empty and its unemployment rate was higher than ever. Niger’s debt levels were so high that it qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund’s highly indebted poor countries program. After the agreement, the unemployment rate dropped to three percent, and the country could use the money to finance basic health care, primary education, HIV/AIDS prevention programs, rural infrastructure, and poverty reduction programmes.
The Maputo Protocol on Human and Peoples’ Rights does not address the issue of women’s representation at minimum wage in Niger. The Protocol addresses the rights of women in Africa, but it does not address how the National Commission for Human Rights is constituted. It also does not address the appointment of female members of the commission. Niger’s delegation was able to provide comprehensive answers to the questions raised during the hearing.
The Niger delegation was made up of representatives of the National Assembly, Ministry of Justice, and Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. The delegation will report to the Committee, which will issue concluding observations and recommendations. The session is scheduled to end on 29 March 2018.
The Minister of Labour determines the minimum wage for nine vulnerable sectors. It ranges from 19 to 72 percent of the average monthly wage. It is set at 125% of the upper poverty line. Minimum wages cover about 85% of the labour force, but non-compliance with the minimum wage regulations is a major problem. The women are disproportionately responsible for the lack of financial security. In fact, the government has made provisions to make sure that women are paid enough.
The Committee Experts raised issues related to gender equality. While Niger is a sub-Saharan country, the country faces many problems in the effective realization of the right to education. They commended Niger for their successful education reforms, but criticized the country’s gender gap in education and the lack of quality education. They also cited issues relating to female employment. They asked the government to take steps to promote female employment and ensure a balance between professional and family life.