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₦100,000 minimum wage will make Nigerian workers breathe – SDP chair.

10th June 2024

SHEHU GABAM

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Shehu Gabam, has urged the Federal Government not to pay civil servants less than N100,000 if it truly wants the masses to breathe.

Gabam made the appeal when he was featured as a guest on Sunday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

The development comes barely one week after the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, embarked on a nationwide strike to demand an increased minimum wage for workers and the reversal of the recently increased electricity tariff.

The industrial action was however suspended for five days after the labour leaders signed a commitment with the Federal Government to resume negotiations and come up with a new minimum wage within a week.

Last Friday, the Tripartite Committee concluded its meetings as both the FG and the Organised Private Sector agreed on N62,000 while Labour pegged its demand to N250,000.

But Gabam insisted that the government will do itself a favour by settling for a reasonable wage that is above N100,000 to avoid civil servants sabotaging the system.

He said, “For me, what I think at this stage is that the government should do something above N100,000. It is reasonably okay. It makes a little bit of sense. People can breathe, and people can go to work without thinking of sabotaging the institutions.

“You are paying civil servants and other private employees just N30,000. And then when you go to the market, there is nothing of the lowest that you can get at the cost of N30,000.”

The SDP chief also chided Nigerian governors for announcing that payment of any minimum wage higher than N60,000 was not sustainable.

This was even as he appealed for a review of the fuel removal subsidy policy.

“Any serious governor that can put his priorities right can pay N60,000 comfortably,” Gabam insisted, noting that if ghost workers are purged from the system, states can pay it. The tragedy is that the majority of the problems we are having today are from the states. The governors are contributing largely to the problem.

He added, “They have to consider reviewing this subsidy. I’ve mentioned this severally, you can get it right with the rate of subsidy the way it is. This government initiated this crisis by removing the fuel subsidy and naturally, they don’t need to be told that there are consequences that will follow.

“What we expected is that by the time the government made up its mind to remove the fuel subsidy and the pains that would follow thereafter, the consumption rates, the supply rates, and the demand rates of the nation, no one can stand it,” he concluded.



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