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Minimum wage: What Labour should actually demand for instead of money – Makarfi

Ahmed Makarfi, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has charged Labour unions to demand for good governance and provision of basic infrastructure rather than asking for the money.

Makarfi gave the charge during the 36 Plenary and Annual General Meeting, AGM, of Unity Schools Old Students Association, USOSA, held at the Federal Government College in Kaduna over the weekend.

The former Kaduna State governor said Labour unions must stop the attitude of over monetization of everything in the country.

He said: “I had challenged, even before I became a governor, the labour leaders I knew that time that you people begin to talk of money, money, money, you will end up with money that is not going to be useful. Rather, I challenged them then to hold government accountable; demand for good governance; demand for infrastructure; demand for security; demand for a lot of things that are expected from government, and a living wage which will be minimal.

“But if you are always asking for money, somebody gives you N10 and takes away N30 for example, how do you benefit?

“We operate in a manner that I should provide for free education, water, security, roads, everything, instead of government to provide for those. That is a major mistake. We must stop monetisation of everything in this country, for us to begin a path to greatness.

“When you hear of wage increase in serious economies, it is by 1 or 2 or 2.3 per cent because it is not about the money, it is about what the government should provide. But, here we are in Nigeria, we have freed the government from providing those basic amenities. We often rather say I can provide for myself when it is not possible for us to provide all for ourselves.

“When I was a governor, when RMAFC was about to come out with packages for political office holders and they were consulting us, I looked at it and told them that I am a political office holder, this thing you are proposing is going to lead Nigeria to serious financial and economic situation. I told the RMAFC officials that they should take a second look at the matter. The RMAFC leaders said Nigeria can afford it. The question now is: can we afford it now? We must stop over-monetisation of our society.”

By Seun Opejobi 

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