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Controversies Trail Labour Party’s Pronouncement Over N80,000 To N100,000 Minimum Wage

Reactions have trailed the Labour Party (LP) expression of intention to effect a minimum wage of N80,000 to N100,000 if elected to power next year at the polls.

Naija News reports that part of the reactions emanated from the now-former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi.

Arabambi slammed that party’s Deputy National Chairman, Ayo Olorunfemi, who made the pronouncement on Thursday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise.

The embattled former spokesman of the party said Olorunfemi, has no locus standi (jurisdiction) to make a such pronouncement on behalf of the flag bearer of the party, Peter Obi.

Arabambi submitted that “He is not competent to speak or make such claim. Such a statement can only come from the mouth of the presidential candidate. Olorunfemi wasn’t directed to speak to that effect. Wherever he picked the information, we don’t know.

“We know Mr Peter Obi is not a frivolous person. There was no way he could just issue a random statement that he will increase the minimum wage from N30,000 to N100,000.

“Don’t forget that he is also a Senatorial candidate in Ondo. Probably, he is saying that in his own capacity pending when he enters the Senate. Maybe, by then, he will able to work towards increasing it to that level.”

His reaction follows a pronouncement made by Olorunfemi yesterday about how the party intends to increase the minimum wage in the country to a range of N80,000 to N100,000 from the current N30,000 if the party wins at the polls.

Naija News reported on Thursday that the deputy national chairman had said “The party is eyeing N80,000 to N100,000. But it also depends on the nature of the job that would be given out. For instance, when you take a cursory look at the manual labourer out there, he does not take less than N2,500 to N3,000 per day, which is still not okay as far as the reward system is concerned. If you divide N3,000 by six hours, you will be talking about N500 per hour.

“When you benchmark that against what we have now, certainly, you would be talking of something within the range of N500-N1,000 per hour depending on the nature of work, and at the end of the day, someone can effectively say that he can make up to N4,000 in a day. And when you multiply N4,000 in a day by 20 or 25, we are talking about N80,000 or N100,000 in a month.”

Even though Arabambi criticised Olorunfemi for the pronouncement saying he might have said that in his own capacity as a senatorial candidate in Ondo State, the spokesman of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko supported his declaration.

Naija News gathered that Tanko told Punch that it is an insult for any serious government to be paying its workers N30,000 as salary.

He observed that “It is part of our plan to jack up the issue of payment of salaries. Remember that the majority of Nigeria Labour Congress members also belong to the party. Therefore, they will help to facilitate and determine the new minimum wage in the presidential quest of Peter Obi.

“As a Labour man, these areas are positions we are considering seriously in our campaign proposal. These are some of the things that will also dovetail into the issue of ASUU when the union is supposed to be fully remunerated according to its workforce.

“I watched the issue myself and can allude to the fact that what we are trying to do is to make workers more comfortable in their duties. After all, we all go to the same markets. But you cannot justify them being paid N30,000 as salary when they cannot take care of one bag of rice. It is very insulting.”

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure when contacted by Punch declined to comment on the issue.

He said, “Please give me some time. I will get back.”

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