The current agitation by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its affiliated unions for N30,000 minimum wage has been lingering for the past one year.
It is somewhat disheartening that this issue has been allowed to drag on for this long with the resultant negative effect on the average worker who is struggling to make ends meet. Whilst it is understandable that any responsible Government must balance the competing demands on its resources, it must be understood that the Government as an employer of labour must adequately remunerate its workers.
It is my firm belief that every worker deserves to earn a decent wage which will accommodate his basic needs in life. Every employee should be able to afford to look after himself and his family without resorting to unnecessary borrowing or begging. The minimum wage must be a ‘living wage’.
We are all aware that the cost of living in Nigeria has quadrupled since 2015. Cost of basic food items, fuel, transportation, housing etc have skyrocketed. However, wages have remain stagnant in the same period.
Accordingly, I have no hesitation whatsoever in saying that if elected into office as Governor of Kwara State in 2019, I shall adopt and pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
In addition, I will committed to workers welfare and working conditions.
I have always believed that every worker must earn a dignifying wage. I was a leading member of the Kwara State Government negotiating team that recommended that Kwara State Government should implement the N18,000 minimum wage.
Given the cost of living indices in Nigeria of today, paying the minimum wage is the only proper thing to do.
9 January 2019
Rt. Hon. Razak Atunwa