March 12, 2024

Pay wage award till new minimum wage comes into force, Tinubu tells govs

Develop your states, make them economically viable - Tinubu tells APC govs, others

President Bola Tinubu

By Wole Mosadomi & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu yesterday told governors to continue to pay workers in their state employ wage award till negotiations on new minimum wage were concluded.

He also said Nigerians had no reason to be hungry as the country had the capacity to feed her people and have enough for export.

Tinubu, who stated these when he flagged off the Food Security and Agricultural Mechanization Programme in Niger State, emphasized that his administration remained committed to ensuring food sufficiency and protecting local industries for sustainable economic growth.

The project, an initiative of Niger State government, is for the deployment of cutting-edge agricultural machinery and technology for large-scale agro-value chain development in the state.

Speaking at the inauguration, President Tinubu said the event represented another step in the food security and agricultural mechanization agenda, declaring that Nigeria must enhance its capacity to feed its people and have enough for export.

READ ALSO: Govs should pay wage award till new minimum wage comes into force– Tinubu

President Tinubu in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity,  Ajuri Ngelale, said:  “We have seen the level of commitment here. We have seen leadership. The success of any leader will depend on the ability to do what needs to be done when it ought to be done.

”It is now time for us to address the challenges and make Nigeria an economy of opportunities. We must care for our people; re-orient our people. I do not see why Nigeria cannot feed all students in its schools.

“I know what it means for roaming cows to eat crops and the vegetation of our land. I know it is painful. But when we re-orient the herder and make provision for cattle rearing, we can address that.

”You are the governors who are to provide us with land. I, as President, I am committed to providing a comprehensive programme that will solve this problem.”

He urged sub-national governments, as an immediate intervention measure, to implement wage awards in their states to complement the efforts of the federal government in easing the burden of citizens, pending when the minimum wage was increased.

Tinubu said:  “I am equally here to partner with you to banish hunger. You are doing the job. And it is necessary for me to support you; it is mandatory as Nigerians. When you read newspapers, some of us are confused about whether to abuse the past or the present or to make excuses for the future.

”But that is not in my dictionary. I think action now, re-engineer the finances of our country and steer it on the right path.

“The student loan programme will commence. There will be unemployment benefits for our graduates. The social security benefits for the elderly and the vulnerable will commence. We are fine-tuning all of that.

”We need to relieve our people of hunger. Let all the sub-nationals start paying wage awards, pending when the minimum wage is increased. I am not giving an order; I am only appealing. NEC should adopt this.”

Appreciating the President for honouring his invitation and inaugurating the facilities, Governor Mohammed Umar Bago said four states, including Benue, Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos, had already signed memoranda of understanding on building partnerships for the development of agriculture.

“Mr. President, your presence here today underscores the importance of this occasion for our state in particular and Nigeria as a whole, as we gather to celebrate a good example demonstrated in our modest contribution to infrastructure and agricultural development encapsulated in our New Niger Agenda.

“For us, agriculture is key to addressing the challenges in critical sectors of our economy, and we shall seize every opportunity for the attainment of growth and engender prosperity for the people of our beloved state and by extension, our country, Nigeria,” the governor said.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, disclosed that the federal government had signed an agreement with the Brazilian government and German Deutsch Bank Group as financiers of a facility of 995 million euros for the Green Imperative Programme which will provide mechanization hubs across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria when implemented.