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Nigeria can afford to pay new minimum wage — Adams Oshiomhole calls on Governors to do something

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— Oshiomhole sends message to governors on NEW MINIMUM WAGE

— Payment of workers’ salaries should not be considered act of kindness, Oshiomhole says

— The APC chairman noted that refusal to pay salaries will only lead to low productions

— He, however, noted that the country still has problem with ghost workers

The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that Nigeria can afford to pay wages and called on governors to do their duties. The Nation reports that the former governor said non-payment of salaries leads to low production.

He said when he was governor, he reiterated to his colleagues that salaries was a means of enhancing the potential of the states. Oshiomhole, however, said one problem the country faced was the issue of money being stolen in the name of salaries.

He said: “My views are clear, that payment of wages is not an act of kindness for an employer to pay the employees’ wages at the end of the month… Even the Holy Bible says that the laborer is entitled to its wages. “I think, again, this is where President Buhari stands out clearly.

He has publicly asked public sector employers; how do you sleep when you have not paid your employers for one year. But he did not stop at lamenting it, he went on to provide the much-talked about bailout fund and said, ‘please use this money to pay your workers and pay pension arrears.

“And even the deductions from states that was done under the PDP in the name of settling our foreign debts, they went into state treasury and they over deducted; that was done under the PDP.

But under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, even inspite of the huge financial challenges that he faces, decided that in order to assist the states to meet up with their social obligations, to begin to pay what is now referred to as Paris Club refund.

“He has done that two, three installments and each time the governors are told that you must use this money, among other things to settle pension arrears and be up to date in the payment of salaries. “But I am very proud that this President has rich conscience, he recognises that the Nigerian worker deserves his wages and that is why he has publicly lamented that there are governors who have not paid salaries as at when due, whether they are PDP or APC, it is immaterial. And in seeking to deal with it he has also provided support across party divide and I think that is statesmanship at its best.

“As for my views on the minimum wage, I tried to deal with it as a governor. I told my colleagues then that wage is not a burden in the society. In economics, when people work and get paid, purchasing power is enhanced and because purchasing power is enhanced producers will respond to that by seeking to produce more goods and services. And in the process they will recruit more hands.

“My being in government or now chairman of a party cannot change what I believe in. “The real problem in the public sector is money being stolen in the name of salaries, I find it embarrassing when we talk about ghost workers. And I ask the question, who counts ghosts. It is only in Nigeria that ghosts are known.” Legit.ng had reported that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) says it will re-strategize and dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issues associated with the proposed N30, 000 minimum wage.

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