The Yoke of Domestic Workers in Nigeria

Samuel Akpan, a 49-year-old indigene of Abak Oko in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, read English and Literary Studies at the University of Calabar. Today, he earns N30, 000 every month working as a contract security guard with a pharmaceutical firm in Ilupeju, Lagos. “Security guards contracted out to guard companies and private residents are […]



Samuel Akpan, a 49-year-old indigene of Abak Oko in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, read English and Literary Studies at the University of Calabar.

Today, he earns N30, 000 every month working as a contract security guard with a pharmaceutical firm in Ilupeju, Lagos.

“Security guards contracted out to guard companies and private residents are not paid uniform salaries, depending on their beats or locations”, he said.

Richard Amuwa, managing director, Mega Guards Limited, Abule Egba, Lagos, confirmed this saying the payment is usually on a: 70: 30 percent ratio.

Independent check however reveals that the operations and activities of the over 250 registered and recognized private security companies are regulated by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

But, who regulates the activities of domestic workers in their millions in Nigeria today? Gbenga Komolafe, general secretary, Federation of Informal Workers’ Organization of Nigeria, FIWON, says there is no regulation whatsoever for domestic workers in the country.

Miss Funke Lawal, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State is receiving N300 everyday doing all sorts of menial jobs from dawn till dust at a restaurant located at vesper bus-stop, along Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in Ifo, Ogun State.

By her calculations, her slave wage salary translates to N7200 every month, as she lamented that “she will resume as early as 5. Am, Monday to Saturday, sweep, cook, wash plates, pots, and then begin serving customers when they come”.

National Bureau of Statistics- Nigeria, says in our country with an estimated population of 203million people, the number of unemployed persons rose from 5.5million in 2015 to 21.7million in 2020.

In the same period under review, those living below the poverty line increased from 43.1million to 102.1million, today.

“Therefore, the likes of Akpan and Lawal, are among the millions of people out there desperate to make ends meet, doing all kinds of menial and domestic jobs to survive”, Komolafe said..

The FIWON scribe further lamented these domestic workers who take care of people’s most important valuables like: children, elderly, property, welfare, etc, are paid slave wages at the whims and caprices of their boss and with heavy work overloads.

He explained that it was based on this that FIWON decided to establish the cooperative society and training arms of the NGO, where domestic workers in the country, who do not have retirement benefits, maternity, or social benefits or grants from government, could be assisted in forming credit and saving cooperatives, regardless of their locations.

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