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‘N48k is unrealistic’ — Shehu Sani says FG can pay N615k minimum wage

Shehu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna central, says the federal government has the resources to pay N615,000 as the minimum wage to workers.

Speaking during an interview with Arise Television on Thursday, Sani said the government should consider the position taken by organised labour on the minimum wage.

The former lawmaker urged the federal government to address the long-standing issue of the minimum wage to prevent impending strikes.

“I don’t know how a Nigerian can survive with less than N100,000. If you break down what the government is offering—N45,000–N48,000, you will see how unrealistic it is by the time you factor in many things,” he said.

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“The position taken by labour should be considered by the government.

“It is one thing agreeing to increase the minimum wage and then the capacity to pay. Let us not forget that in the last few years, the government has been finding it difficult to even pay the one that is already on paper. So how this could be reflected should be considered.

“But from what we have learnt since the withdrawal of subsidy, the government has more money and there is no better way to effectively and productively spend it than to increase the minimum wage of the Nigerian worker to a reasonable point where he can adequately take care of his family.

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“Economic reforms are taking place in this country there are consequences for the reforms. They are supposed to be sacrifices, but it should be across the board.

“Workers are seeing that money is coming in trillions; they want their own share. When a nation subsidises, it makes more value for wages, but when they are removed, you have to pay for it.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had repeatedly proposed N615,500 as the minimum wage that the federal government should pay Nigerian workers, citing the high cost of living.

On May 15, leaders of organised labour staged a walk-out during a meeting called by the federal government to discuss the national minimum wage for workers.

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Ajaero, president of the NLC, said the government has until the end of the month to arrive at a decision.

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