The Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, David Umahi has raised alarm over the new minimum wage of N30,000.00, warning that the new pay rise could trigger off hyper inflation in the country.
Umahi, who gave the warning while inaugurating his campaign organisation, the Divine Mandate Organisation, said, “we are approaching this issue of minimum wage wrongly.”
He noted that the N30,000 new minimum wage was not enough to carter for workers’ welfare, urging civil servants to look beyond the new pay rise.
“If what we are being told is correct and some states are using up to 90 per cent of their resources to pay salaries, if what we are told is correct that ASUU is going on strike because ASUU is saying that the budget for education is only 7 per cent against 20 per cent. So, if you put these two sections together, it is 110 per cent. We are just talking about this section alone- education, other sectors are there, health, security votes, water, light and so on. We are just talking of education and workers’ salaries alone.
“The two cannot mix; they cannot work until we are able to sit down and think how we can run this country. I do not believe that all the resources of this nation are correctly collected. I believe that if we collect in honesty the resources of this country, we will have enough to take care of our workers and we will have enough to take care of our heath, education and others.
“Civil servants should look beyond minimum wage component. Even the minimum wage of 30,000d what can it do? It will cause inflation and that inflation is going to sweep out whatever gain you think you have.
“Till we sit down in this country and look at all sides and agree that this is how we are going to do it otherwise, we will ground this country”, he stated.
Umahi, however, said he was not afraid to contest with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
“If I were in the opposition, I will be afraid to say I am contesting election because considering the type of structure we have on ground, no ordinary man will be able to build it. It is God and Holy Spirit that made it possible.
“The people that say they are contesting election, some of them cannot define budget, they don’t even know what GDP is. They make promises like making a cross without ground,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday declared his government’s readiness to work towards implementing the new national minimum wage agreed by the tripartite committee.
Buhari gave the assurance shortly after receiving the report of the National Minimum Wage Committee set up to recommend a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers on 27th November 2017.
“I want to assure you all that we will immediately put in place the necessary machinery that will close out these open areas. Our plan is to transmit the Executive Bill to the National Assembly for passage within the shortest possible time. I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has declared that the federal government has a cordial working relationship with labour unions in the country.
Mohammed, who said this in Abuja Tuesday, said the federal government and the organised labour had been able to amicably address the recent stalemate arising from the implementation of a new minimum wage for workers.