President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, assured Nigerian workers that implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 will commence soon.
He also asked state government and employers in the private sector to work towards providing a living wage for their workers. Speaking at the 11th Triennial Delegates Conference of Trade Union Congress, TUC, of Nigeria, the President, who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, said the nation’s economy was expected to grow by 2.7 percent in 2019 as a result of several reforms embarked upon by the government.
The president urged state government and the private sector to implement the minimum wage as a way of encouraging workers to contribute to the development of the country, adding that his government would continue to pay particular attention to the welfare of workers. Noting that giant efforts had been made in building solid foundation for the country since he took office in 2015, President Buhari said: “These efforts have begun to yield results.
The economy is making a steady progress and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent this year. Our external reserves have risen to $45 billion and can finance a number of our foreign commitments.
“With the steps taken to integrate rural economies to the national grid, provide credits and inputs to rural farmers and micro-businesses as well as provide the enabling environment for business in Nigeria, our people will be liberated from the shackles of poverty.
“We will try to create 10 million jobs yearly to continue to boost our economy and make life better for our people. Our government will continue to improve on new development plans and initiatives. ‘’We will concentrate on agriculture, education, power and other infrastructure, manufacturing and social intervention schemes. We will promote good governance and fight corruption to a stand still.
“My administration believes in the welfare of workers and that is why we have signed the Minimum Wage bill into law and implementation is underway. I implore both the state governments and the private sector to give their workers a decent living wage to encourage workers to contribute more to our economy.
Cronyism, ethnicity, religion deflate effort to redeem Nigeria — Kaigama In his address, President of TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, said the story of Nigeria has degenerated to the level of anarchy and absurdity. According to him, hardly a day passes without new killings through assassination, kidnapping and suicide bombing.
Kaigama said the level of insecurity appeared to have overwhelmed the nation’s security forces, adding that “nowhere is safe now, including the home state of the President and the Minister of Defence.” The TUC boss called on leaders in the country to do the needful, stressing that their primary responsibility was to protect lives and secure property of the citizens. Lamenting that the economy was in dire strait, Kaigama said: “Regrettably, those who should manage it are not showing promising signs on how to fix it.
Nigeria’s debt profile is over N24.3 trillion. It was reported recently that government wants to borrow more. “Borrowing in itself is not a bad thing, the issue is what do you borrow for? Countries borrow for capital projects and not to pay salaries. If we cannot bequeath to our children, why burden them with crazy debt? It is irresponsible of any parent to do such.
“Comrades, why can’t we know the number of barrels of crude we refine? Is it rocket science to publish how much we make from oil? Why should individuals mine our solid minerals in Zamfara, Plateau etc? ’With what the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, NIPOST, NNPC, NIMASA, NAPIMS are generating and the monies recovered by EFCC and ICPC, Nigeria should not be borrowing.”
Kaigama also expressed concern over the level of corruption in the country, pointing out that perpetrators of corruption were divising new tactics daily to evade being caught, while cronyism, ethnicity and religion have deflated efforts to redeem the country.
‘There is no sincerity of purpose in the struggles. The best form of governance would abhor corruption same way a corrupt administration would not be interested in promoting good governance.” “He asked government to improve on the nation’s operating environment to ensure the smooth running of the economy, pointing out that the manufacturing sector has not made any significant progress in the first quarters of 2019.