It is common knowledge that there is a fixed minimum wage for players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). This article explains the relevant provisions and details such as the players entitled to the minimum wage.
The Framework and Rules of the NPFL as well as the Club Licensing Regulations contain the provisions governing the minimum wage.
How much is the minimum wage?
Currently, the NPFL Rules states that the minimum wage for any player shall not be less than 150,000 naira monthly.
The full details of a player’s remuneration (wages and all benefits to which he is entitled, whether in cash or in kind) must be contained in his player contract.
Is every NPFL player entitled to the minimum wage?
No, a club is not bound to pay every single player the minimum wage.
The minimum wage is to be paid to a minimum of 25 of the total number of players registered by the Club with the League – Section B Rule 9.43.
- Each club is to register a minimum of 22 and a maximum of 35 players for its first team with the league.
- In addition, a club is permitted to register an additional 5 players from its youth team – who must not be above 18 years old.
Are there any players who specifically must be paid the minimum wage?
Where a player graduates from the youth team of a club into the first team, after two years he will be entitled to negotiate a contract for the payment of the minimum wage.
What if a club fails to pay minimum wage?
According to the Club Licensing Regulations, the minimum wage falls under the Grade ‘A’ Criteria; therefore, a club that fails to meet the minimum wage requirement will not be eligible to participate in the NPFL.
Ahead of the 2013/2014 season, when the applications for issuance of club license by two of the newly-promoted teams were initially refused, it was reported that at least one of them had failed to meet the minimum wage requirements.
What if a club fails to pay a player his wages or other benefits?
The League Rules state that clubs must comply with their financial obligations towards players, other employees and other clubs as per the terms stipulated in their respective contracts.
Where a club fails to pay a player what is due to him under the player contract, there are procedures within the framework of the rules for claiming what is described as ‘overdue payables’. Where a club delays a due payment for more than 30 days – “without a prima facie contractual basis” – the club could be sanctioned in accordance with those rules.