The headline screams,

Spain increases minimum monthly wage to 1,050 euros ($1,192) or over N429,000 in 2019.

And of course, the comparisons started pouring in. The minimum wage struggle by the NLC with Govt immediately became the subject of discussion. Comparing Minimum Wages of Eighteen thousand Naira with Four Hundred and Twenty Nine thousand Naira (Spain) certainly paints a dire picture for us as Nigerians.

Someone says,

You see why people are exiting this country. in droves?? You can see why practically all our medical and non-medical professionals are at one stage or the other of processing their papers to leave this country.

If minimum wage is N429, 000, how much will a Doctor earn out there? Do the maths

This guy is forgetting certain things..

He will be spending maximally too… No Agege bread for the equivalent of 250 Naira. A cup of tea may cost the equivalent of one thousand Naira in Spain.

Despite the spending disparity, he thinks it is still better than staying in what he calls this yeye country.

But, let’s look at this minimum wage thing from another angle.

I don’t think we have any business comparing wages (minimum or not) across jurisdictions.

We don’t run the same / similar economies. Level of productivity differs markedly. Their wages are as high as their gross national income, which reflects how productive the nation is

(It is always amusing when people also compare fuel prices in other countries with what we pay here.)

– How much would a loaf of bread be in Seville, Spain? Now convert that to Naira and compare with what we have here .
– How much is a crate of eggs?
– How much would a mechanic charge you per hour??
– How much would a cup of coffee be in a Starbucks in Madrid?.
– How much would a haircut be in Madrid?

How much do those things cost here, comparatively.?

We cannot just compare wages without comparing what things cost across the jurisdictions being compared, too, right?.

It is really not about (minimum) wages, but what the wages can purchase.. the real purchasing power. And this is intricately linked to the overall productivity level of the economy. What is our level of productivity, as a country, compared with these other more advanced countries that we are quick to compare our wages with?

Labor (NLC) focusing on increasing wages are just chasing their tails.. increased wages, increased inflation, back to Square ZERO.. an unending vicious cycle.

We should be more concerned more with infrastructural development, and productivity.

When we squander eight hours in traffic, daily, where would businesses find the funds to pay living wages.??
Of course, the country has to work harder in ensuring the economy improves so the earning power and productivity of the citizens are amplified.

But I think that’s all where it ends… not making unrelated comparisons..
The Spanish minimum wage news has no bearing here

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