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Ned Nwoko urges FG to increase minimum wage to N100,000

By Linus Aleke, Abuja

The Senator representing the good people of Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Sen. Ned Nwoko, has urged the Federal Government (FG), to reconsider its stance on the minimum wage for workers and increase it to at least one hundred thousand naira to cushion the effects of current hash economic realities.

The Federal Government last week announced the decision to pay N62,000 minimum wage following a successful strike action embarked upon by organized labour, to press home their demand for a pay rise. Regrettably, the state Governors and the private sector players are already up in arms against FG for accepting to pay more than N60,000 minimum wage, insisting that any figure above N57,000 may not be sustainable.

But reacting to the ongoing debate on minimum wage, Sen. Ned Nwoko, while, fielding questions from journalists at Nigeria’s Silent Heroes Awards in Abuja over the weekend, said that the minimum wage should not be less than one hundred thousand naira.

“If you ask me about minimum wage, I will say that the workers deserve better pay, even if it is a minimum of one hundred thousand naira. One hundred thousand naira is the ideal thing. What can one hundred thousand naira even do for anybody now? How many bags of rice can it buy? How many times can that fill the tank of your vehicle? So, we have to be realistic about our economy, the least we can pay workers is a hundred thousand naira”.

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On the new national anthem, Nwoko, said, that he was not present at the chambers of national assembly the day the bill was passed, adding that the change has come to stay and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

According to him, “Incidentally, I was not in the chambers that day, that particular week I was off because I was ill and was attending to my health. But all the same, it has come to stay. For me, we have more pressing national issues to occupy our attention than talk about the national anthem, but it is done and there is nothing we can do about it until another president comes and wants to revert. But for now, let us look at the things that we need to do that can address the myriad of challenges confronting us as a nation. There are many problems in Nigeria, from economy to security etc”.

On the Silent Heroes awards, he said: “Unfortunately most of the deserving awardees are silently and quietly out there unknown, the unsung heroes. How do we bring them up? You don’t need to be a president or governor to be acknowledged. They could be security men, drivers or cooks, but they have done so many wonderful things for humanity. These are the people that I expect in the future for an event of this nature to seek out, look for them, ask the people to identify those who had done remarkable things to assist the society and celebrate them”.

Earlier in her address of welcome to the Project Coordinator of Silent Heroes Awards Initiative, Mrs. Ozioma Odita Sunday said, the awardees were carefully nominated amongst hundreds of other recommendations given the outstanding contributions they have made over the years to add value to humanity.

The Silent Heroes Awards, she said, is anchored on the process of identification, recognition and celebration of those whose life activities have positively impacted humanity within and outside their immediate environment.

The galaxy of awardees includes but is not limited to Delta and Kogi State Governors, Sheriff Oborevwori, and Usman Ododo, Senators Ned Nwoko and Ifeanyi Ubah, Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, amongst others.

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