The National Conscience Party (NCP) has urged the Federal Government to do its best to speedily resolve all issues delaying the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Lagos State Chairman of the party, Mr Fatai Ibuowo, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.
He said workers had endured enough hardship owing to the prevailing economic realities, saying that implementation of the new minimum wage would give them some succour.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to do its best to implement the N30,000 minimum wage.
“Nigerian workers have faced a lot of hardship because of high costs of goods and services and so cannot wait to be paid the new wage.
“We are aware that there are issues between labour and government on what to pay as increment to those on certain levels,’’ Ibuowo said.
According to him, we must emphasise that all categories of workers deserve substantial wage increments in view of the present economic realities.
Ibuowo implored the government to arrive at a middle-ground with labour and speedily implement the Minimum Wage Act, signed in April to better the lots of workers.
He noted that in a country where lawmakers earned what he called “astronomically-high wages and allowances’’, it was unfair not to pay workers a living wage.
The NCP Chairman pointed out that the new N30,000 minimum wage, though better than the earlier N18,000, was still one of the lowest in the world .
Ibuowo said insecurity and corruption were major problems in the country, saying the issues could be addressed through improvement in workers’ welfare.
“Insecurity and corruption are two of the major problems facing our country now and we think by improving the welfare of workers, we can substantially address the problem.
“Some people get into crime because the peanuts they are paid cannot pay their bills. So they look for a way out and get involved in all sorts of negative things.
“Corruption and insecurity are addressed in other climes proactively. When we reward workers adequately, we are reducing poverty and when poverty is reduced, crime is reduced,’’ he said.
Ibuowo also faulted the conduct of local council elections by state electoral commissions, saying the practice undermined democracy at the grassroots.
He said state governments used their electoral commissions to rig council elections, calling for steps to replace State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for better grassroots elections.