Chief Opadokun: FG should accept N56,000 minimum wage
The Convener, Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms, Chief Ayo Opadokun, says the recent increase in fuel price should compel the Federal Government to accept the N56,000 minimum wage proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Opadokun, however, said the increase in fuel price was not acceptable.
He said in order to reduce hardship in the country, an increase in the minimum wage was important.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, the human rights activist said the country could not afford a showdown with labour unions.
Opadokun said, “The Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, should accept the minimum wage proposal by the NLC because many workers across the country can no longer afford this high cost of fuel. Many of them have not even been paid for some months now.”
Opadokun urged labour leaders across the country to negotiate with the Federal Government in order to reduce the fuel price.
He said, “I am not persuaded that the increase is the right thing to do. I believe the pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency is wrong because they can arrive at a better price.
“The past six weeks have not been particularly easy for many Nigerians, so there is really no dividend in embarking on any showdown and strike.
“I totally disagree with the PPPRA on the price of fuel per litre. I think the PPPRA is merely punishing Nigerians for its administrative inefficiencies.
“I will appeal to the NLC to be cautious, especially in its plan to protest the increase in fuel price. If the protection of the ordinary man is its aim, it should hold a serious discussion with the Federal Government.”
Opadokun said the way out was for the Federal Government to ensure that all the petroleum products consumed in the country were refined in Nigeria.
He asked the Federal Government to hasten its plan to establish modular refineries close to the big refineries in the country.
He added, “We need to get out of this crisis. First, it is terribly wrong to solely depend on the importation of petroleum products.
“We must refine the petroleum resources we consume in Nigeria, not outside the country.” – Punch