One who carefully and thoughtfully observes the way cleaners in ABH go about performing their daily duties would agree that it indeed costs them blood, sweat and tears to keep the hall clean everyday— washing those messy, stenchy toilets which repel the rest of us; sticking their feet into the stale, stinky, standing water in the bathrooms in a bid to free those blocked outlets; ridding the corridors of those sight-disturbing masses of garbage, every morning; sweeping every corner of the hall; clearing the gutters, to mention just a few.

One might think that these women would, as a reward of their hard work, laugh all the way to the bank at the end of every month. Quite the contrary! These cleaners receive a paltry sum of #8000 monthly- about one-quater of the minimum wage in Nigeria. In fact, it is even over two times less than the #18000 minimum wage introduced as far back as February 2011. Daylight robbery, right?

Even more ridiculous is that inspite of this outrageously meagre salary they get, they have not been paid for several months (perhaps with no qualms on the part of whoever pays them). Story for another time, though!

This is the first part of a story series delving into the life and plights of ABH cleaners. Over the weekend, ABH Press went out to the “streets” of ABH, engaging brownites and asking to see if they knew anything about the plight of these cleaners. Quite a number of them expressed surprise and shock, while it met some unruffled.

Below contains some of the opinions and comments passed by brownites- only for your perusal. Enjoy!


1. I know we’re in Nigeria and in a country like this, the rights of the workers are not considered and are often exploited. So, I won’t be surprised if they’re being paid very little. I think they get about #40000, which I believe is not enough.
ABH Press: They are paid #8000 and they have not been paid for months now.

Are you serious? I’m surprised. How do they then live? Even with the clothes they wash, they are being exploited. They wash for #20 per piece, when in some places it’s #100 per piece. So if they wash 10 pieces, it’s just #200. It’s sad. (F. O. MBBS 2K21)

2. I don’t know the amount they’re paid. But of course, it’s going to be a very small amount. People who do this kind of job are not paid much in this country or even anywhere in the world. But they do some extra things to keep themselves up. I think it’s below #10000.
ABH Press:They are paid #8000 and they have not been paid for months.

That’s crazy. That’s messed up. How then do they make their money? You’re paying someone way below the minimum wage and you can’t still pay them regularly. That’s inhumane! (O. O. MBBS 2K18)

3. I think they are paid #5000. I feel they should be paying them between #12000 to #15000.
ABH Press: They are paid #8000 and they have not been paid for months.

Why are they still coming? (A. O. MBBS 2K21)

4. I think they’re paid #10000.

ABH Press: They are paid #8000 and they have not been paid for months.

That is not good at all. Even the money they get is not enough. People are suffering in this country. I wonder why they’re still working. And the extra money they get from washing clothes is not enough to sustain an adult. Very pitiable. (R. J. MBBS 2K21)

5. Well, this is Nigeria. So, I’ll speak within the context of being in this country. I think they’re paid #5000. Well, if I were the one paying them, I would be giving them between #10000 and #15000.
ABH Press: They get #8000 and they have not been paid for months.

That’s strange. It’s not fair paying them that amount and still owing them for months. I mean, I understand if it’s #100000 they’re being paid; but #8000? What is it with Nigeria and owing workers salaries? (N. A. MBBS 2K19)

6. About #500 per day, which would be about #15000 in a month. Well, this still falls below the minimum wage, which shouldn’t be. I believe they should be paid at least, the minimum wage. (N. O. MBBS 2K19)

7. Seeing that what they do is like a full-time job, I don’t see any reason why they should be paid below the minimum wage. But I’m not really sure it will be up to that. Let me just say it should be between #25000 and #30000. (K. A. MBBS 2K21)

8. I think they get about #10000 or so. I’m not sure. But if things were normal, they should not get anything less than the minimum wage. It’s terrible hearing now that they’ve not been paid for months. (D. A. BDS 2K19)

9. I know that in Zik, they get about #8000 while the head cleaner gets #10000 or #12000. It should be about the same price here, seeing that they are all under contract and most likely under the same contractor and the same management. (I. J. MBBS 2K21)

What can you say about this? Kindly drop it in the comment box. Thanks for reading.

1 Comment
  1. Zainab Arogundade says

    I think this is a rather interesting topic the press has divulged into and I’d like to commend your efforts. I’m not all too surprised that the wage is that little, neither am I surprised that they’re being owed even this miserly fee. It’s sort of the Nigerian culture. The ones who work the most have their rights trampled upon the most. Inhumane is what it is.

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