Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said that the proposed new minimum wage will be meaningless unless fundamental issues relating to education and healthcare among others, were addressed.
Masari, while addressing workers during the 2018 Workers Day celebration in Katsina, said that the Nigeria labour Congress should not only focus on securing a new minimum wage but also on what would make the new wage meaningful. “Fundamental issues that makes it meaningful should be looked into before it can be meaningful to Nigerian workers.
“Education should be a must and right to every child in Nigeria; so, our public systems of education and healthcare must be vibrant or else the new salary will be meaningless,’’ Masari further said that agriculture, water supply and security must also be improved for the salary to be meaningful to a worker.
“These are issues before us. Let us address them before the proposed minimum wage will become meaningful.
“If not properly addressed, you will come back next year demanding another minimum wage,’’ he said. Earlier, the state NLC Chairman, Mr Tanimu Saulawa, said that the current economic realities in the country necessitated an upward review of the minimum wage being demanded from N56,000 to N66,500.
Saulawa expressed the hope that the new National Minimum Wage would effective in June, 2018 as public hearing on the matter had been conducted in all the six geo-political zones in the country.
“We are not oblivious of the fact that the struggle for a decent living wage will be a long and difficult one, but we have started and will continue until we are there,’’ he said. He said NLC was convinced that the state Contributory Pension Scheme would assist retirees to live dignified and comfortable lives after retirement.
“We are convinced that the model will lead to dignified and comfortable life in retirement because it is considered to be the best, responsible and more discerning in the country. “We, therefore, call on all workers to understand its content and support it,’’ he said.