Presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, has called out another candidate, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, for being unprepared to lead the country due to his indecision over how much to pay Nigerian workers as national minimum wage.
The two candidates appeared together on Television Continental's Breakfast programme on Friday, October 12, 2018 when Moghalu branded Sowore's plan to increase minimum wage to N100,000 as populist.
Moghalu said, "The minimum wage is not something to take a populist approach to; we should improve the minimum wage. A minimum wage of N18,000 is absolute nonsense, but let's not come on air and make populist promises."
When asked how much he would increase the minimum wage to from the current N18,000, Moghalu said he'll do a proper study on it at a later time.
"As to whether we will pay them N100,000, I will subject that to proper study so that my decision is informed and sustainable. I will not give a figure yet because we need to research," he said.
In response, Sowore noted that Moghalu is unprepared to lead the nation if he doesn't already know how much to pay Nigerian workers just four months to the 2019 presidential election.
He said, "If he hasn't researched by now what the minimum wage should be, it shows that Kingsley is not prepared to rule Nigeria.
"We have done our research; it is out there on the internet. I like Kingsley, but I'm surprised that Kingsley at this time does not understand what he needs to pay workers."
Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, will contest in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC) while Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will contest on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
FG proposes N24,000 as new national minimum wage
President Muhammadu Buhari responsible for the negotiation of a new national minimum wage on November 27, 2017.
However, failure to announce a new minimum wage by September 2018 led organised labour unions to embark on a warning strike across the nation, an action that was soon suspended after negotiations with the government.
While addressing the media on October 10, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed that the federal government has decided to peg the new wage at N24,000.
According to him, organised labour union leaders in the country had proposed N30,000 as the new minimum wage after it called off its recent warning strike. However, state governors insisted they could only pay N20,000.
The minister noted that the most important thing to consider in the negotiations for a new national minimum wage is the ability of the government to pay workers when due.