Lagos State governorship candidate, of Alliance for Democracy (AD), High Chief Owolabi Salis, has faulted states governments who claimed they do not have the capacity to pay N30,000 minimum wage, saying it was based on corruption.
Salis described the average Nigerians as living in ‘lachrymal poverty’ and that he is at the “precarious point of extinction because of hardship arising from the poor pay and general degraded standard of living.”
He said that the N18, 000 earned by Nigerian workers is approximately $90 a month.
He added that Lagos State can pay the N30,000.00 minimum wage and even more due to the resources and internal revenue being generated.
“Sadly, it was not even paying the approved N18,000, but a negotiated wage despite it capacity,” he stated.
Salis urged the Federal Gogernment to reviewe the wage and consider the demands of Labour to avert industrial action, which, he said, is long overdue.
“The standard of living is poor for most Nigerians. If those in authorities enjoy certain benefits why can Nigeria workers get a raise, they are supposed to earn living wage but right now the minimum wage paid has degraded the standard of living of the Nigerian average worker”, he explained.
The United States-based attorney spoke to newsmen, in where he said, “Lagos State has more than enough to pay the minimum wage.
“I was told the state government is not even paying the N18,000, but a negotiated rate.
“Look at the massive resources in the hands of individuals who are on board; they have so much to themselves.
“Many of the states claiming they cannot pay minimum wage say so just because of corruption.
“N30,000 is 90 dollars a month. I wonder how Nigerians will survive with that amount monthly, not to even mention the approved N18,000.
“Minimum wage in New York is 15 dollar an hour and if you work 40 hours a week, you are looking at 600 dollars weekly, and 2,400 dollars in a month.”
He noted that whatever minimum wage is paid in any society should be able to support the basic cost of living in terms of accommodation, food, health and facilities that the people need.
He added, “I do not know how N18,000 can do all these and what that translates to is for people to engage in corruption to make ends meet, as the affected workers come up with schemes to extort their people
“If you go to civil service organisations, you will see schemes that are being perpetrated because their earning is not supporting the basic cost of living.”