By Nwafor Sunday
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has on Tuesday supported the call for a new minimum wage, saying that even if N66, 500 is not paid to workers; let N50, 000 be given to them monthly for their survival.
Saluting workers sacrifice, labour, resilience, and patriotism to the country via his facebook handle, Ekweremadu said that time has come to lighten their burdens, noting that they have relented even in the face of untold challenges and hardship.
In his words, “It is becoming more difficult for workers to survive on N18,000 minimum wage. It is absolutely less than a living wage. The take-home pay has left most workers stranded on the road as it is becoming very difficult for an average worker to take care of essential needs, especially in the absence of basic amenities.
“Therefore, I support workers’ demand for a new minimum wage and the ongoing negotiations initiated by government to that effect. Even if the workers cannot have exactly the N66,500 new monthly National Minimum Wage, which they currently demand, they should have at least N50,000 as the new monthly minimum wage.
“Let us be realistic. It will be difficult to wage a successful war against graft in the absence of a reasonable wage for the workers. A new, reasonable, and realistic minimum wage is central to the war against corruption because we cannot in good conscience expect that the citizens will wholeheartedly fight corruption on an empty stomach.
“That is why the basic responsibility of any government is the welfare and security of the citizens and their property so that they are not tempted to resort to self-help. The Nigerian workers deserve a better deal.
“I wish the Nigerian workers a happy Labour Day celebration.”