Gbajabiamila seeks better minimum wage for workers
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for increase in the minimum wage to make it a living emolument.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a roundtable on social security, organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), he said it was the duty of government to ensure that there were suitable and adequate shelter and food for Nigerians.
Themed “Expanding Social Protection Cover and Ensuring Effective Implementation in Nigeria,” the Speaker noted: “There should be old age care and pensions, care for the unemployment, sick persons and welfare for the disabled.
“This is how we will ensure that the people born in Nigeria can live a life of accomplishment and contribute to the society meaningfully.”
Gbajabiamila argued that “there is a close nexus between lack of social protection, poverty and crime.”
He went on: “Social protection legitimises the state of the mind of the citizen and bestows on government.
“When we gather together to brainstorm about ways to improve the social protection cover in our country, we are engaging in the fundamental act of nation building.”
The Speaker pledged that the lower legislative chamber would ensure a collective agreement on what to achieve the best vision and welfare for Nigeria and the citizenry.
“I expect that having secured agreement on what needs to be done, we will then do what is required.
Gbajabiamila continued: “I assure you that in the House of Representatives, we are committed to using the tools of legislative authorities to advance solutions and implement policies that will help achieve the promise of the union.
“This is a challenging time for our country. However, an abundance of historical evidence leads me to believe that at this moment of crisis, there is an opportunity for us to make choices and take actions that can improve people’s lives.
“These choices will not come easy and the actions we have to take require sacrifices.”
The Speaker added that it was within the powers of the lawmakers to build a country where citizens have the opportunity to rise to the height of their abilities.
On his part, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Service, said the peace, stability and economic development of any country depended on how its leaders cater for workers.