June 10, 2024

Minimum wage: ‘FG can do above N100k’ — SDP Chair Gabam seeks review of fuel subsidy

Minimum Wage

File image of government and Labour representatives at a previous meeting.

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Shehu Gabam said the federal government can do above N100,000 as minimum wage.

Gabam stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics. 

He said, “For me, what I think at this stage: the government should do something above N100,000,” 

“That’s what I think. It’s something that you can say is reasonably okay. It makes a little bit of sense. People can breathe, and people can go to work without thinking of sabotaging the institutions.

“They have to consider reviewing this subsidy. I’ve mentioned this severally, you can get it right with the rate of subsidy the way it is,” he added.

Meanwhile, the SDP chairman has called for the adjustment of “fuel subsidy.”

The government and labour unions have been locked in negotiations over a new minimum wage for months.

Recall that an industrial action by the labour unions comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) forced the government to return to the negotiation table.

Labour leaders rejected the recent offer of N62,000, up from N60,000, and insisted on N250,000, shifting grounds from its earlier proposal of N494,000.

Speaking on the development, the SDP chieftain blamed it on the Federal Government which initiated the removal of the fuel subsidy.

According to him, that move pushed the cost of living before the common man.

Gabam said, “This government initiated this crisis by removing the fuel subsidy and naturally, they don’t need to be told that there are consequences that will follow. 

“What we expected is that by the time the government made up its mind to remove the fuel subsidy and the pains that would follow thereafter, the consumption rates, the supply rates, and the demand rates of the nation, no one can stand it.

“You are paying civil servants and other private employees just N30,000. And then when you go to the market, there is nothing of the lowest that you can get at the cost of N30,000.”

Meanwhile, governors have said they cannot pay N60,000 as minimum wage, describing it as unsustainable.

But, Gabam said states can pay it, adding that, “Any serious governor that can put his priorities right can pay N60,000 comfortably,” Gabam insisted, noting that if ghost workers are purged from the system, states can pay it.

“The tragedy is that the majority of the problems we are having today are from the states. The governors are contributing largely to the problem,” he said.