A couple of weeks back, some state governors protested that they couldn’t afford to pay their workers the N18,000 minimum wage due to lack of fund. This didn’t go down well with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), as the body insisted the state governors must comply.
A cross section of Nigerians ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to also backed NLC’s action. Some even demanded the impeachment of any governor who claims he couldn’t pay the agreed minimum wage.
‘The lives of those at the top is bettered at the expense of those at the bottom’- David Soroghaye
I think political leaders in Nigeria do not understand the very concept of leadership. They fail to understand that as leaders, your number one priority is to better the lives of those you are leading, even if it is at your own expense. Here in Nigeria, we have turned things the other way round. The lives of those at the top is bettered at the expense of those at the bottom, that’s the majority.
Agreed, the reality is that we are facing some serious financial challenges with all the news about being broke, but should the vulnerable, the weak, which form the larger population be made to bear the brunt? My answer is no! What happened to leading by example! Why can’t the governors start the austerity from themselves! If these governors take the lead by cutting down on their personal expenses and reduce the size of their government, I believe there would be little agitation. Why should the people who have little lose the little they have, while those who have much become richer!
I think the Federal Government should sit down with the governors to find ways around this. It could escalate into something bigger if prompt action isn’t taken.
‘It is such a pitiable situation we’ve found ourselves’- Justin Umoshiona
It is such a pitiable situation we’ve found ourselves. I wonder how we’ve become so bad. This was the same minimum wage that led to some serious protests years back, isn’t it? Now, the governors want it reduced, to what, if I may ask them. They want to cut down N18,000 in this present Nigeria when everything is super expensive.
This should teach people that the best place to be is your own boss with your own business. Though you’ll face challenges, you know that when you overcome, you’ll reap the full reward.
The governors should just forget about reduction to the minimum wage for now and forever.
‘Workers must be made happy first before focusing on other issues’- Mike Fatunde
I don’t think it will be fair if the state governors fail in their responsibilities to encourage their workers. They should just cut down all their bogus projects and pay attention to concurrent expenditure. Workers must be made happy first before focusing on other issues.
Even, the said N18,000 minimum wage is nothing considering the level of inflation the country is going through at the moment. So, to me, payment of minimum wage is non-negotiable.
‘Minimum wage is compulsory for all the states’- Moroof Adeboye
Minimum wage is compulsory for all the states. They just have to pay. Nigerians should not invite any unnecessary sympathy into this issue. They all collect Federal allocations. And when they’re doing that, they didn’t say the money won’t be enough to cater for the agreed minimum wage for their respective workers. If they know they can’t cope, they should just resign. I strongly support the Nigeria Labour Congress’ stance on that.
‘The money is to be increased instead’- TUNDE OKUNOLA
It can never work. The money is to be increased instead. A governor was complaining of no money to pay workers’ salaries yet he went outside the country to celebrate his child’s wedding elaborately with the highest wedding cake ever in Africa. One of them said he could not pay workers’ salaries because the former administration did not release allocation because he was in the opposition party. Now that he is in ruling party, he said that the allocation given to him by his ruling party cannot even pay his state electricity bills. Can you see the insincerity in our governors.
My advice is to let the Federal Government set up a monitoring team (or EFCC) to monitor how our governors spend the allocations they receive. I rest my case.
‘What can that minimum wage buy’- ABIOLA ONALAJA
I think that is quite ridiculous. When we voted for them, they promised heaven on earth. Now, they are complaining that they cannot pay minimum wage. If I may ask, what can that minimum wage buy? It cannot feed a family of four for a month. The Federal Government should not bailout any state. They should sought themselves out.
‘It’s inhuman for any governor to crave and support the reduction…’- JIDE AWOBONA
It’s inhuman for any governor to crave and support the reduction of the minimum wage. Fine everyone cannot be equally rich, but at least the children of these labourers are part of the future leaders we crave for all the time. If their parents cannot at least send their children to the best of schools, clothe them well, shelter them properly, proper diet shouldn’t also be denied them, to prepare their brain and make them resourceful to the society in a way. As we all know, a hungry man is an angry man.
When one is poor to the extent of not being able to put food on the table, anything disastrous and violent could manifest from this. So if we really want to develop this country, it has to start from developing the children indirectly regardless of their background, and a way the society can do this is by at least increasing the minimum wage, providing more employment opportunities and make the country a better place to be.
As my contribution is focused on the effect of the minimum wage on children and the development of the economy, the federal government should look critically into the standard of living, critically analyse how possible a family can survive with at least two children with the minimum wage.
‘The minimum wage is not enough’- KESS
The minimum wage in question is not enough compare to what these workers spend in a month. The governors can’t say they cannot pay such because, it’s even not enough. Now the federal government can help in bailing out the states that have the problem.
‘It’s an act of wickedness, the minimum wage isn’t even enough for people’ – ADEWALE ADEYINKA
I think it’s an act of wickedness, the minimum wage isn’t even enough for people and they want to reduce it. I’m not happy, because I know some people that will be affected. The Federal Government should wade in and look for ways they can assist states with the issue.
‘It is not fair to make people suffer’ – FUNKE ADEBOYE
The governors of those states should just find a way to pay the minimum wage, it is not fair to make people suffer.
People can barely feed with the current minimum wage, reducing it is like sentencing them to death. The Federal Government should assist them.