Construction workers engaged on the Apapa-Ibadan railway project have expressed displeasure over the poor salary they are paid by the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
Some of the workers engaged in the Apapa area, who claimed to be graduates, said they are paid as low as N950 per day. When computed monthly – based on 22 working days per month – the salary of the workers will amount to N20,900 per month, which is 30.3% lower than the approved national minimum wage of N30,000 per month.
“By monthly salary calculation, per day I’m entitled to N950 per day here after I would have worked from morning till three in the afternoon.
“Meanwhile, my family members are at home waiting for me to come with bountiful salary but to appear almost without cash after the whole month. This is because everything consumed the whole month would have been bought on credit. Upon all these, we don’t have any other options than to stay and keep on working,” one of the workers, whose identity is being protected to guard against possible victimization, said.
Some others said they receive N40,000 per month, despite the enormous demand of the job.
“We are just managing the salary. There is no comparison between the work we do on daily basis and the salary we get, considering its tediousness.
“Even graduates among us collect as low as N40,000 per month. We don’t have any other option than to do this,” another worker said.
The railway project contractor, CCECC could not be reached for comments. However, Lagos Railway District Manager, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Jerry Oche, admitted that the wages of rail workers are low.