Governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the 2019 election in Lagos State, Owolabi Salis has urged the Federal Government to raise the minimum wage to N100,000.
Salis said the call became pertinent following the recent announcement of additional N35,000 to the salaries of all categories of workers.
The New York- based lawyer and chartered accountant said in a statement from his United States base that all indices clearly show that most Nigerians are going through harrowing experiences as a result of economic hardship.
This, he noted, has made life miserable for millions, of Nigerians, especially workers who now live from hand to mouth
Salis recalled that when the Federal Government announced N30,000 as minimum wage in 2019, the exchange rate was N325 to a dollar.
“Today, the exchange rate is N1,000 to a Dollar which even makes life brutish, brash and unbearable for most Nigerian families.
“This is aside food inflation and insecurity that have made hunger a regular visitor in many homes and communities. Worse still, public universities and government colleges have hiked their fees in a manner that makes education the exclusive preserve of the rich.
“N100,000 is just $100 as against over $20,000 paid to some politicians monthly. Isn’t it ridiculous? When you remove feeding, housing, and transportation from the less than $100, the money is gone.
“The politicians have put their own wages in current terms, hedged against inflation while leaving the less-privileged out. Nigeria currently has the most-wicked politicians in the world, careless about the people who they govern. They are only concerned about themselves. Paying low wages promotes truancy and corruption at work. The President needs to address this matter.
“This is a clarion call to all Nigerians of good conscience, especially opinion leaders at all levels and most especially the civil society to speak up now
“The truth remains that things are extremely difficult for the people, hence the need to ensure a living wage is paid as minimum wage to our struggling workers,” he said.
According to him, “This is the least one can ask for at this time, as a bag of rice for instance, is more than N50,000 in the market.
“Even with the unfortunate scenario of many sleeping in their offices from Mondays to Fridays, to lessen the cost of transportation, things are still terribly bad for the average worker.
“Nigerian workers surely deserve better, thus the idea of a N100,000 minimum wage is an idea whose time has come.”