2019: Presidential Aspirants at ‘war’ over minimum wage

The presidential candidates of African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu, Friday morning attacked each other’s position on plans for the national minimum wage in Nigeria.

They both appeared on a breakfast programme of Television Continental (TVC) which focused on the issue.

The Federal government is locked in a tripartite meeting with organised labour and organised private sector over demand by workers to raise the current monthly minimum wage of N18,000.

Mr. Sowore said he would pay workers a minimum wage of N100,000 if elected president but Mr. Moghalu dismissed the claim as populist and unrealistic.

“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,” he said.

“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”, Mr. Mogbalu said.

However, Mr. Sowore sharply responded, wondering why a presidential candidate of Mr Moghalu’s economic pedigree, having served at the World Bank, would not have definite plans on the topical issue, 128 days to the elections.

“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,” Mr. Sowore said.

The general elections will take place in early 2019.

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