Following the denial by the presidency to pay the N30,000 minimum wage, the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday came down hard on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, saying a government that is not reliable, nothing else about it can be stable.
Atiku, who said his attention was drawn to a statement from the Presidency denying President Buhari’s earlier pledge to pay the new minimum wage of ₦30,000 agreed with the Nigerian Labour Congress and other labour affiliates in a signed communiqué, noted that “this approbation and reprobation is characteristic of the Buhari administration and is evidence of the lack of leadership at the very top that is putting our economy in peril.”
The former Vice President, in a statement by his Campaign Organisation said, “Just two weeks ago, two of the world’s largest banks, HSBC and UBS, pulled out of Nigeria citing lack of policy stability as their reason. This same reason was given by Procter and Gamble when they pulled out last year. In the span of the three years that this administration has been in office, more than 500 companies have pulled out of Nigeria for similar reasons. Nigeria under President Buhari has become synonymous with policy flip flopping.
“A government is only as reliable as its word and if its word is not reliable then nothing else about the government will be stable. This is why Nigeria suffered from a recession under this administration and is right now at risk of another recession.
“At the risk of repeating ourselves, we urge the Buhari administration to note that Nigerian workers are the goose that lays the golden egg that top members of this government are enjoying to the detriment of those laying the egg.
“We are aware that both President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, despite living and feeding at the public expense, collect a hardship allowance of 50% of their annual basic salary, whereas, the long suffering Nigerian workers, who are the main sufferers of the hardship caused by the incompetence of this administration, do not have any hardship allowance and are expected to live on the unliveable minimum wage of the Buhari government.
“It is a testament to how badly we have treated our workforce over the last three years that Nigeria was officially declared the world headquarters for extreme poverty by the World Poverty Clock and the World Economic Forum.”
The presidential candidate said that this aberration can only be addressed when workers are being paid their living wage as opposed to the starvation wages now paid to them by the Buhari administration.
“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to keep faith with the agreement his government freely reached with labour and affirm the new minimum wage,” he said.