Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the readiness of the Buhari’s administration to increase workers’ minimum wage.It, however, advised that the amount should not be
Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC Director, in a statement, lamented that the average Nigerian worker is deliberately impoverished by elected leaders.
”He is overworked, underpaid and overtaxed. A worker’s pay cannot take him home. The average Nigerian lives on less than $1 per day. Per capita income is less than $300”, he said.
”Yet on top of this economically gloomy scenario, prices of goods and services have hit the rooftop.
”Education, for instance, has gone beyond the reach of children of civil servants. With WAEC registration fee standing at N13,950 with NECO charging N11,400 and JAMB candidates paying about N8,500 (including post-JAMB), the average civil servant is forced to cough out a total of N33,850.00 for a single child.
”He may have up to four children or more and minimum wage is just N18,000.00. It is quite glaring that civil servants have to cut corners to make ends meet. When will Nigeria wake up from this huge joke?
”A country actively fighting corruption should not impoverish its civil service. FG as at today appears to be leading its own civil service into the temptation to steal. The way out of this conundrum is to raise minimum wage significantly from the present N18,000 to N50,000 as requested by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
”If it is true that a senator takes home an average of N36,000,000 (thirty-six million naira) monthly while a honourable member of the House of Representatives earns N25,000,000 (twenty-five million naira) as monthly salary, what moral justification do we have to peg minimum wage at N18,000?
”How can we open our eyes and allow this legislative looting of our commonwealth to continue? This yawning gap and the attendant socio-economic imbalance is mainly responsible for the surge in crime wave. We will like to suggest a drastic cut in lawmakers’ salary and an upward review of the minimum wage as stated earlier.
”By raw calculation, the annual salary of Nigeria’s lawmakers is N155,088,000,000 (one hundred and fifty five billion, eighty eight million naira). Half of this humongous amount is enough to employ more than 150,000 Nigerians at a salary of N50,000 only per month. Lawmakers earn N2.2 million in America, N1.3 million in Britain and N305,058 in India. Why are we like this?
”This situation explains why 80 million Nigerians live below poverty level. Nigeria is the 26th poorest and the 20th hungriest nation in the world. 2% of Nigerians own 90% of bank deposits while only 1% of the Nigerian population consumes 85% of its resources, leaving the remaining 15% for 99% of the population. While poor Nigerians sleep under the bridge, our capitalist oppressors book whole floors and wings in the most expensive hotels for a whole year! Who did this to Nigeria?
”We propose that Nigeria’s minimum wage should be raised to N50,000. We also suggest payment of only half of the salary of our present lawmakers. The deducted half should be used by FG to pay WAEC, NECO, JAMB and Post-JAMB fees of all Nigerian students as a relief for the impoverished tax-payers. FG should be prepared to subsidise it if the amount deducted from lawmakers’ salary is not sufficient.”