On the part of the Nigeria Labour Congress, its President, Joe Ajaero, said poor wages were a major factor fuelling corruption in Nigeria, stressing that it was the right and privilege of all civil servants to earn decent wages.
Ajaero, who was represented by the Development Economist, NLC, Hauwa Mustapha, noted that a decent wage should take prominence in governance.
He said: “When you refuse to pay workers their living wage and minimum wage, even as basic as it is, when you deny workers their rights and make them live like slaves in their own country, that by itself is corruption especially in a situation when the politicians are living so large as though we don’t go to the same market.
“Workers have the right to a decent wage, and even to protest when they don’t feel comfortable with what is happening in their work spaces. Decent wage is pivotal to productivity and human capital development. Decent wage is being realistic to the reality of living.
“Decent wage must address and be in consonance with the expectations of our everyday life. Expectations in terms of education for our children, housing and health services. Decent wage for us is very important, it’s at the core of what we struggle for, it’s what should be the pivot of a good governance”.
Corruption from poor living wages costly to Nigeria – ICPC
Speaking in the same vein, ICPC, said corruption emanating from poor living wages held dire consequences for Nigeria.
The retired Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said research had shown that widespread corruption in the public service created corruption-enabling social norms that made public servants and citizens normalise the expectation and acceptance of bribes while carrying out their statutory duties.
He said: “This practice, where public servants demand (expect and ask) or are supplied (offered and accept) bribes increases the cost of accessing public services for citizens and has been found to be partly motivated and sustained by inadequate living wages and the rising cost of living. Evidently, the corruption that results from poor living wages, comes at a cost to all of society.