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Cut wasteful spending to pay minimum wage, union tells government

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige. Photo/Twitter/LabourMinNG

National President of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Samuel Omaji, has asked the Federal and state governments to reduce their wasteful spending to enable them to pay the new N30, 000 minimum wage.

Omaji argued that the government has no excuse to continue to delay the implementation of the new wage since the Federal Government had approved it.

He lamented that government has continued to deploy various tactics, including divide and rule, to negate the implementation of a basic surviving wage, notwithstanding that Nigerian workers have a right to a living wage and not just a minimum wage.

He pointed out that the delay in implementing the minimum wage and lack of proper attention to public secondary schools generally appears to the union as a calculated attempt to take education out of the reach of the common man as private schools continue to increase due to government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the funding of public schools.

According to him, the performance of the education sector was tied to the implementation of the N30, 000 new minimum wages.

Omaji, who decried the sorry state of infrastructure and lack of basic teaching aids, including modern laboratories in most secondary schools in the country that require urgent attention, noted that improved wages, working tools, conducive teaching and learning environment were directly proportional to performance.

He said: “They have no excuse to continue to delay the implementation of the new minimum wage. If it is a question of insufficient funds, we have told them that federal and state governments should reduce their wasteful spending, including the needless foreign trips that gulp millions of Naira. They need to be more creative, block all leakages, be more patriotic, purposeful and fiscally disciplined.

“It is inexplicable that after over two years of agitation by the labour movement, culminating in the signing into law of the (minimum wage) bill, the Federal Government has continued to deploy various tactics, including divide and rule, to negate the implementation of a basic surviving wage.

“The delay in paying the new minimum wage and poor attention to public secondary schools generally appears to us as a calculated attempt to take education off the reach of the common man as private schools continue to snowball in the face of government’s lackadaisical attitude to the funding of public schools.”


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