The Nigeria Governors’ Forum have opted for a minimum (poverty) wage of N22,500:00, about $70 per month for their workers, as the battle for a new minimum wage in Nigeria, rages on.
While one remain strongly committed to the inevitable need for an upward review of the very ridiculous wages, being paid the working people of this country, we cannot but remind ourselves, that the ongoing struggle by the Labour centre, may amount to an exercise in futility, if the actual needed steps are not taken, in order to ensure, that not only should government agree, on a reasonable amount to be paid to Nigerian workers, but also should they be ready, to meet up with the obligation of paying Nigerian workers as at when due. As at today, several states such as Osun, are grossly indebted and are owing several months of salaries, due to the inability to meet up with the existing N18,000 minimum wage.
Without putting an end to the cap-in-hand practice of waiting on Abuja, before being able to meet up with the basic financial responsibilities of States, including payment of salaries, this whole struggle may end up as an exercise in futility.
One would have expected the labour center, to take advantage of the present situation, to throw its weight behind the urgent demand for RESTRUCTURING of the country, which will inevitably ensure a devolution of powers, resource control among other benefits, that will automatically empower the various States, and even the centre, to meet up with its financial obligations, without waiting for any monthly ‘stipends’ from the Federal government.
Is it not ridiculous, that many States with abundant mineral and economic potentials, are also struggling to pay such ridiculous wages, to its workers? How can a State like Ondo, with the second largest bitumen deposit in the World, or States like Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Plateau etc, be wasting precious times negotiating how to pay this very ridiculous poverty wage to the workers?
Is it not ripe enough, for us to put on our thinking caps?
Can the Labour Unions also use their heads, once and for all, instead of this perenial resort to demanding for increase in wages, from the over-burdened Federal government?
There is only a viable way to our prosperity and taking the working people out of this mess, at least, in the mean time. That is, RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA!!!
October, 31, 2018