Nigerians not interested in political statements, make minimum wage N100,000 – Idam tells Tinubu

A human rights activist lawyer, Maduabuchi Idam, has said President Bola Tinubu has not shown enough interest in the welfare of Nigerian workers, stressing that the minimum wage should be N100,000.

Idam said offering N62,000 as the new national minimum wage shows that Tinubu is not interested in the welfare of workers.

Negotiations between the Nigerian government and organized labor are still ongoing.

While the Nigerian government offered N62,000, labor reduced its initial demand from N494,000 to N250,000.

Amid the negotiations, Tinubu had promised to send a minimum wage bill to the National Assembly.

However, speaking , Idam said: “Mr. President has not demonstrated the character of a leader who is interested in the welfare of his workers. You can see the demand made by labor and that made by the government; they are worlds apart. Mr. President is offering N62,000, while labor cut down from N494,000 to N250,000. I expected Mr. President to meet them halfway. I expected Mr. President to be talking about N100,000 and above, not N62,000.

“I understand that state governors are actually creating a bottleneck by saying their allocations can’t sustain the demand, but this is the time for Mr. President to show leadership and that he desires workers to do well in his administration.

“I do not think Mr. President has demonstrated the character of a leader interested in the welfare of his workers because if he did, he should be working with labor and engaging the unemployed youths of Nigeria, trying to see how to alleviate the problem.”

Labour interest selfish

The constitutional lawyer also stressed that the agitation by labor is selfish because there are more unemployed people than those employed.

He said: “I have always maintained that labor’s agitation is selfish because we have a larger number of unemployed people in Nigeria, and nobody is agitating for them. I will tell you without gimmicks that Mr. President has not done well in response to labor’s agitation.

“Mr. President should do better, and he has the opportunity to do better so that history will reckon with him.

“From the policies I see, those promises he made can’t be materialized unless he’s ready to change his pattern. If he does, things will be better by engaging those in the private sector who know what it takes to drive the economy. Tinubu surrounds himself with conventional politicians.

“Nigeria is fast moving away from conventional politics; people want to see action and engage technocrats who understand what it means to drive the economy. That is what Nigeria needs at this point. The country needs people who are knowledgeable about the economy, not conventional politicians who are just there to play to the gallery, curry popularity, and serve white elephant projects that do no good to the people.

“We are interested in seeing those who understand the yearnings of the Nigerian people. We are interested in seeing cabinet members who are focused on driving the economy and not conventional politicians. Engaging these people will show that Mr. President is ready to drive Nigeria to the next level and realize his agenda of renewed hope.”

Nigerians not interested in Tinubu’s Democracy Day political statement

The lawyer cautioned the president because Nigerians are no longer interested in his political statements.

He noted that Tinubu can’t actualize his promises because he’s not surrounded by the right people.

Idam added: “The speech by the president is soothing and without gimmicks; it’s a good one. But the question to ask is how prepared is Mr. President to match words with actions? It’s not enough to create fanciful words that sound soothing. What the citizens want to see is action.

“We are no longer in the campaign era; it’s over. Nobody is interested in what the president intends; the intentions are expected to be realized now that he’s in power. We want to see action. No president or Nigerian citizen wants the country to fail. Nobody in Mr. President’s position would behave like the Biblical king who said he would make the yoke of his people heavy. Nobody will behave like that; actions are what is required, not intentions. We know that he wants to succeed, and we know he wants to leave a good record, but how prepared is he to do this?

“We are not interested in political statements. From the look of things, I can tell you that Mr. President is not prepared. Either he’s not surrounded by the right people, or he’s burdened with a team that lacks what it takes to drive the economy, which does not include persons who understand what it takes to drive the economy.

“Mr. President should look beyond his team and take advice from the Nigerian people who are worst hit by his policies. Nigerians are saying the removal of the fuel subsidy was not a good policy. When a leader takes action and realizes that it’s not the best for his people, he reverses it.

“Nobody is above making mistakes, and I understand that 90 percent of the candidates who contested during the last election supported fuel subsidy removal, but Nigerians have seen that it’s not the best for Nigeria. You can see that everything else has lost control, the economy is in crisis, and people are massively exiting the country due to hardship. The question is, are we going to continue this way with promises without actions?

“We are saying the promises should be matched with corresponding actions. Nobody is interested in Mr. President’s promises.”

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