A lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof. Rose Onah, has urged the Federal Government to expedite action and start paying workers the new minimum in October.
Onah of the Department of Public Administration and Local Government Affairs said made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Tuesday.
She said that the payment of the new minimum wage would reassure workers in the country that government had their welfare at heart.
“The federal government should do everything within its power to ensure that the new minimum wage is paid to workers in October.
“This will give workers a sense of belonging as well as show them that government has their welfare at heart.
“The present minimum wage of N18.000 is now a peanut based on current economic realities in the country,’’ she said.
She advised government not to allow the organised labour to embark on strike first before implementing the new wage for which it set up a committee in September 2017.
The don noted that it would not be a good record for the present administration if it failed to increase workers’ salaries.
“Government should not wait until Nigeria the Labour Congress (NLC) calls out workers on strike before implementing the new minimum wage.
“That will be as if government is being forced to implement the new wage.
“Government should also ensure the new wage is a living wage and something that will put smiles on the faces of workers as it will help in increasing workers’ productivity,’’ she said.
Onah, former Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Nsukka Local Government Area, said most workers had been borrowing money from friends, neighbours and commercial banks, to ensure they met their financial responsibilities.
“As a result of the poor salaries paid to workers, some people look down on civil servants and see them as the poorest in the society.
“It’s unfortunate that some patriotic civil servants who refused to engage in corrupt practices retire without having a car or a house of their own because of poor salary,’’ she said.