Rant Here much ado about new min­i­mum wage

The Punch - - SWAG! - Melvin Umunna, 25

Afew weeks ago, the Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion, Mr. Boss

Mustapha, said the gov­ern­ment would soon ad­dress the ag­i­ta­tion for the up­ward re­view of the na­tional min­i­mum wage in a man­ner that would make work­ers and all Nige­ri­ans smile.

If the same gov­ern­ment said this a few weeks ago, why are they still stalling? Why should the Nige­ria Labour Con­gress have to go as far as declar­ing a strike to get the gov­ern­ment’s at­ten­tion? Was it just mere talk or is it part of the gov­ern­ment’s un­end­ing prom­ises?

I feel that the long de­lib­er­a­tion over the pro­posed N30, 000 min­i­mum wage is an em­bar­rass­ment to the na­tion. I just hope the price of fuel, trans­port and other com­modi­ties won’t be in­creased as well.

It is so sad that we have a gov­ern­ment that is clue­less about the fact that min­i­mum wage is an im­por­tant fac­tor that in­flu­ences labour man­age­ment re­la­tions.

It is such a dis­grace that Nige­ria, the sup­posed gi­ant of Africa, pays one of the low­est min­i­mum wages com­pared to other third world coun­tries. It is so clear that our lead­ers do not have re­gard for our wel­fare. They find it so dif­fi­cult to in­crease the min­i­mum wage; mean­while, se­na­tors get ex­or­bi­tant al­lowances. In fact, in my opin­ion, they are over­paid.

For any coun­try to fully de­velop, it is es­sen­tial that the wel­fare of the work­force is prop­erly catered for be­cause they are the pur­vey­ors of de­vel­op­ment.

If the min­i­mum wage is in­creased, it will have a rip­ple ef­fect on tack­ling ex­treme poverty in the coun­try. Also, it will im­prove the stan­dard of liv­ing of Nige­ri­ans to an ex­tent.

As a Nige­rian youth, I be­lieve the gov­ern­ment should en­sure that the new min­i­mum wage would trans­late to a bet­ter life for the cit­i­zenry.

Baba­jide Ma­caulay, 33, is an As­sis­tant Lec­turer at Fed­eral Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Akure. He speaks about his con­cerns for the en­vi­ron­ment

I ac­tu­ally didn’t know I would end up as a lec­turer; it was never a child­hood

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