MAY DAY: Shehu Sani advocates N145, 000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers
Says, ‘N18, 000 insufficient to feed politician’s dog in a month’
From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As Nigerian workers joined their counterparts globally to observe this year’s May Day, Senator representing Kaduna Central at upper chamber of National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has advocated $300 ( aboutN145,000) as minimum wage for Nigerian workers.
The activist-turned politician, who stole the low-key workers celebration, in Kaduna, on Monday, when he stormed the venue without being officially invited by Union leaders, further described the current N18,000 minimum wage as ‘a big insult’ to Nigerian workers adding that, the amount was not even enough to feed a politician’s dog in a month.
According to the federal lawmaker, the Nigerian workers deserve to live better than they are currently living as the country is reach enough to comfortably pay them well but politicians and other public office holders have been stealing monies that would have been used to achieve that long ago quickly added that, all the politicians are well paid even though the system has made it difficult for them to display their genuine pay slip.
“When you say N56,00, or N60,000, sometimes all these things are tied to our foreign exchange. Nigerian workers should have not less than $300 per month and that will be between N140,000 and N150,000.
“I would be one of those that would push it forward. Nigeria has the resources to do that. The amount of money that is been used to maintain and sustain political office holders, the amount of money been wasted on corruption, the amount of money been stolen both known and unknown are monumental to the point that we cannot tell ourselves that such a country that pride itself as a giant of Africa will be paying less than $20 in the name of minimum wage.
“N18,000 or N20,000 minimum wage is an insult to Nigerian worker because it cannot sustain even a dog or security man in the house of a politician.
“So, as far as I am concern, I believe the only way to be fair and just is to peg it and we should not just peg it but rather make it a government policy. Public and private working places should maintain that especially you journalists that have no salary. I think there should be a law that should peg a minimum wage and take it to the dollar and that will be the best way to which workers will be able to sustain themselves and their family”, he added.
Earlier, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Kaduna State, Comrade Adamu Ango had called on states that owe their workers backlog of salaries and pension arrears to urgently address the issue saying enough is enough.
Also his counterpart in Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Shehu Muhammed appealed to colleagues that the celebration has to be in low-key because of the unique event they are witnessing in Kaduna State where some teachers have been owed between six and sixteen months salaries.
“How can we celebrate when pensioners are dying because government deny them of their entitlement. The money that was even deducted from our salaries are still in government cofers.
“It is very sad. It is not going to be good of us to go out there and celebrate the way we use to do. May Day is not a political rally.
“The national assembly has failed in their responsibility as regarding critical issues that affect the nation but instead were busy with trivial issues like fake certificate, uniform among others. Our economic is sick and priority must be right because if we miss it now we may never get it right again.
“No company will spend less than a half a million in a month due to poor power supply. Any company that cannot cope will be forced to close shop and that has negatively affected our economy as a country.
“Illegal appointment and illegal extension of permanent secretaries who are supposed to have retired from active service to pave way for other Nigerian to be actively engaged is another big threat to our national growth and development all which must be addressed now in the interest of democracy and Nigerian masses”, he warned.