PDP presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari over the minimum wage controversy currently engulfing the nation.
Oh well, if you went to bed last Monday with the knowledge that the federal government has agreed to pay workers the sum of N30,000 as minimum wage following a strike threat kindly do us a favour by waking up.
The initial information from almost all the news platforms in the country earlier this week was that President Buhari endorsed the N30,000 recommendation as put forward by the minimum wage committee he inaugurated in 2017.
However, while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Information Minister Lai Mohammed told the nation that Buhari is yet to endorse or accept the new minimum wage proposal and that there has been a misunderstanding.
“I think it was a recommendation. So, Mr. President will consider it and would make his views known in due course”, Mohammed said.
“So, like I said, recommendations have been made and Mr. President would get back to the committee after he has studied the recommendations.’’
A presidential source had earlier told journalists that “the president’s speech at the event was immediately made available to the media and nowhere indicated that the president endorsed N30,000 minimum wage”.
Atiku considers the flip-flop on the minimum wage, one more example of why no one should trust the President Buhari administration.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Atiku said the following:
1. The minimum wage denial is typical of the Buhari administration
In Atiku’s words, the denial “is characteristic of the Buhari administration and it is the evidence of lack of leadership at the very top that is putting our economy in peril.”
2. Atiku hits Buhari for the departure of some foreign companies from Nigeria’s shores
In Atiku’s words: “Just two weeks ago, two of the world’s largest banks, HSBC and UBS, pulled out of Nigeria citing lack of policy stability as their reason.
“This same reason was given by Procter and Gamble when they pulled out last year. In the span of the three years that this administration has been in office, more than 500 companies have pulled out of Nigeria for similar reasons. Nigeria under President Buhari has become synonymous with policy flip flopping”.
3. Atiku accuses Buhari and Osinbajo of receiving hardship allowance
“We are aware that both President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo, despite living and feeding at the public expense, collect a hardship allowance of 50 per cent of their annual basic salaries, whereas, the long-suffering Nigerian workers, who are the main sufferers of the hardship caused by the incompetence of this administration, do not have any hardship allowance and are expected to live on the unliveable minimum wage of the Buhari government”, Atiku says.
4. Buhari is taking Nigeria into another recession, Atiku says
Nigeria emerged from recession in September of 2017. Atiku swears that Buhari is heading Nigeria down another recession pathway.
“A government is only as reliable as its word and if its word is not reliable then nothing else about the government will be stable. This is why Nigeria suffered from a recession under this administration and it’s right now at risk of another recession”, he says.
5. Atiku says Buhari should stick to the N30,000 agreement it reached with labour
Atiku who is a former vice president of Nigeria called on Buhari to keep faith with the agreement it reached with labour and the organised private sector.
Nigeria is the current poverty capital of the world and Atiku says “we can only change this by paying our workers a living wage as opposed to the starvation wages now paid to them by the Buhari administration.”
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