2nd February, 2018
Former Edo Gov. Adams Oshiomhole has advocated a win-win situation for the parties involved in determining a new minimum wage for workers in the country.
After a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, he said he would not pontificate about the amount being demanded as minimum wage by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The Former NLC President stated that the issue was not the minimum wage approved but its delivery to the pockets of beneficiaries who felt the brunt of the current economic hardship.
“I think for me the problem is not oftentimes getting the numbers. The problem is getting those numbers to be delivered into the pockets of the people.
“I happen to know that as we speak we still have many of my comrades who work; at the end of the month they are not paid.
“And we have couple of my comrades who have retired at the end of the month they are not able to get their pension.
“It is not even about the numbers now whether it is one naira or one million (naira), they don’t simply get it.
“Those are huge challenges that should be addressed simultaneously because it is not the fact of what is approved that delivers comfort.
“It is the act of paying it and getting people to get it to their pockets and then take it to the market that makes the difference.
“Otherwise it is not a paper affair. Statisticians may be interested in the paper work but the real workers want what gets to their pockets.’’
Oshimhole noted that the fact that the President inaugurated a committee meant government recognized that the minimum wage could no longer take anybody home.
According to him, if the government is not convinced about that it won’t put machinery in place to address it.
“Conventionally, it is like a typical market place: those who sell will ask for a higher price and those who buy will demand a lower price.
“For transaction to take place the two parties have to agree otherwise there will be no transaction. I think that is what the tripartite committee is expected to do.
“It is not for me to pontificate about what the figure should be; I believe that we have enough brains in the NLC who know what the irreducible minimum should be.
“And the other tripartite side, the government, the private sector, will also understand what is it that they can leave it in a way that you have a win-win outcome,’’ Oshimhole added.
The former governor stated that he came to wish Buhari happy New Year and appreciate him for his leadership of the country and “as APC activist, loyalist and party man re-assure him of my absolute and total support for his government and even for 2019.’’
“I think that in moments like this nobody should sit on the fence.
“Our country had challenges and there are huge temptations here and there.
“It is important that the President Knows that he has men and women who, even at this hour, have huge confidence in his leadership ability,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole stated that he believed that every Nigerian wanted the administration to sustain some of the renewed vigour to deal with one of the most challenging problems Nigeria has faced which was corruption.
“You cannot but appreciate the president and all that has been done under his leadership these past two years and some months,’’ he stated.
He criticized former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the so-called advice that he gave to Buhari not to re-contest in 2019 stating that as President, he Obasanjo had declared that his advisers’ advice was not binding on him.
“I am not sure that when I see the list of advisers that President Obasanjo is one of the advisers.
“I also recall with respect that the day President Obasanjo was swearing-in some of his advisers when he was President he did say that anybody who is his adviser can advise him, he will make his own decisions.
“And I think that principle stands,’’ he added.
On the increasing poverty level in the country, Oshiomhole attributed it to years of corruption noting that the challenge was how to ensure that the Nigerian economy worked for the betterment of majority of the people particularly the forgotten rural majority.
Oshiomhole hailed the social intervention scheme of the administration as well as its desire to halt the negative economic drift.