Minimum Wage, Poverty and Social Welfare in Nigeria: Revisiting Distributive Justice


  • Oluwaseun Olanrewaju Academics Stand Against Poverty (West Africa)


Minimum Wage, Poverty, Social Welfare, Distributive Justice


This paper examines the concept of minimum wage and the poverty situation in Nigeria. It adopts distributive justice as its theoretical framework. The paper employs content analysis and utilizes secondary data obtained from journals, newspaper articles, books, and policy papers. It emphasizes that the intrinsic value of the minimum wage alludes to the level of poverty that confronts minimum wage earners in Nigeria. Furthermore, the paper identifies that Nigeria runs an extremely weak and inefficient social welfare system. This in many ways exacerbates the level of poverty among minimum wage earners. The paper argues that despite not being a strict egalitarian theory, distributive justice offers a practical framework which ensures that benefits and burdens are distributed in a rational manner that reduces poverty and inequality in the society. It concludes that continuous increase in the minimum wage without providing social safety nets for minimum wage earners is a facade. Significantly, in order to alleviate poverty and improve the living conditions of minimum wage earners, the government in its policy agenda must prioritize social welfare as a human right that must be protected.




How to Cite

Olanrewaju, O. . (2022). Minimum Wage, Poverty and Social Welfare in Nigeria: Revisiting Distributive Justice. Ife Social Sciences Review, 30(2), 53–63. Retrieved from