HomeInfo GuideHow ToHow To Recover Unpaid Salary in Nigeria

How To Recover Unpaid Salary in Nigeria


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Unpaid salaries are a distressing issue faced by many employees in Nigeria. Not receiving your hard-earned money can create financial strain and lead to a host of problems. However, it’s important to know that there are legal avenues available to help you recover your unpaid salary.

In this article, DailyNews24 will explore quick steps you can take to ensure you receive the money you deserve.

Understand Your Rights as an Employee

Before taking any action, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your rights as an employee in Nigeria. The Labour Act, which serves as the primary legislation governing employment in Nigeria, provides protection for workers’ rights. Familiarize yourself with provisions related to wages, salaries, and payment schedules to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to tackle your unpaid salary issue.

Gather Evidence

To strengthen your case, it’s essential to gather evidence of your unpaid salary. Start by collecting copies of your employment contract, pay slips, and any communication (emails, text messages, or letters) pertaining to the salary owed. This evidence will serve as a vital record of your employment terms and the non-payment of your salary.

Document Communication

Keep a record of any communication you have with your employer regarding the unpaid salary. This includes email exchanges, phone conversations, and even in-person discussions. Documentation plays a critical role in demonstrating your efforts to resolve the matter amicably and can be valuable evidence if legal action becomes necessary.

Seek Witness Statements

If possible, gather witness statements from colleagues who can corroborate your claim of unpaid salary. Their statements can significantly bolster your case by providing additional evidence and supporting your version of events. Ensure that these statements are written and signed by the witnesses to ensure their validity.

Attempt Mediation or Conciliation

Before resorting to legal action, consider pursuing mediation or conciliation. These alternative dispute resolution methods offer a chance to resolve the matter through negotiation and agreement, avoiding the lengthy and costly legal process. Mediation involves a neutral third party facilitating discussions between you and your employer, while conciliation entails seeking assistance from a third-party conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Consult a Mediator or Conciliator

If you decide to pursue mediation or conciliation, consult a qualified mediator or conciliator who specializes in employment disputes. They will guide you through the process, facilitate dialogue between both parties, and help find a fair resolution. Remember, the goal is to reach a settlement that satisfies both parties and ensures you receive your unpaid salary.

If all else fails, you may have no choice but to initiate legal action to recover your unpaid salary. This step should be considered only as a last resort, as it can be time-consuming and costly. It’s advisable to consult an employment lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.

File a Lawsuit

To initiate legal action, you will need to file a lawsuit against your employer. It’s imperative to have a strong case supported by the evidence you have gathered. Your lawyer will help prepare the necessary documentation and guide you through the court proceedings. Be prepared for a potentially lengthy process, but remember that this is your opportunity to fight for what is rightfully yours.

Attend Court Hearings

As your case progresses, you will be required to attend court hearings. Be punctual and well-prepared, as these hearings will determine the outcome of your case. Your lawyer will represent your interests and present compelling arguments on your behalf. Remember to remain calm, respectful, and focus on the evidence supporting your claim.


Recovering unpaid salary in Nigeria requires persistence, knowledge, and the willingness to explore various avenues. By understanding your rights, gathering evidence, considering mediation or conciliation, and, if necessary, initiating legal action, you can increase your chances of receiving your hard-earned money. Remember, every employee deserves fair compensation, and with the right steps, you can reclaim what is rightfully yours.


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