By Agbonkhese Oboh
High Chief Owolabi Salis, the Alliance for Democracy, AD, Lagos State governorship candidate, has said the state has the capacity to pay N30,000 minimum wage, although it was not even paying the approved N18,000, but a negotiated wage.
Salis, the Star Alliance-backed candidate, urged the Federal Government to look into the demands of the organised labour to avert industrial action, which he said is long overdue if it is the only tool labour has.
Salis, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos yesterday, said: “Lagos State has more than enough to pay the minimum wage. I was told the state government is not even paying the N18,000, but a negotiated rate.
“Look at the massive resources in the hands of individuals who are on board; they have so much to themselves. Many of the states claiming they cannot pay minimum wage say so just because of corruption.
“N30,000 is 90 dollars a month. I wonder how Nigerians will survive with that amount monthly, not to even mention the approved N18,000. Minimum wage in New York is 15 dollar an hour and if you work 40 hours a week, you are looking at 600 dollars weekly, and 2,400 dollars in a month.”
He noted that whatever minimum wage is paid in any society should be able to support the basic cost of living in terms of accommodation, food, health and facilities that the people need.
He added: “I do not know how N18,000 can do all these and what that translates to is for people to engage in corruption to make ends meet, as the affected workers come up with schemes to extort their people
“If you go to civil service organisations, you will see schemes that are being perpetrated because their earning is not supporting the basic cost of living.”