Abubakar, former Vice President, on Tuesday threw his
weight behind calls for increment of workers salaries.
He said the current N18, 000 minimum wage for workers
was not “only ill-motivating but embarrassing” considering
the economic situation in the country.
The Waziri of Adamawa stated this in a statement
commemorating this year’s Workers’ Day celebration.
In the statement entitled, “Workers’ Day: Tapping into our
greatest weapon” Abubakar said “whoever works should be
The statement reads in part:
“Nigerian workers, I congratulate you for this day. I salute
your courage and resilience going through one of the most
trying economic times in Nigeria’s history. But these
challenges are showing how resilient and hardworking
Nigerians are and that your indomitable spirit and work ethic
will continue to go unchallenged throughout all of Africa.
“These values have been the bedrock of Nigeria’s labour
movement since its beginning. A movement which started
off to protect the welfare of railway workers and later coal
miners in the days of colonial administrations in Nigeria.
“A movement that has grown in height and status as the
single largest rights protection organization, representing not
less than sixty million workers in our country.
“Owing to the sheer size of its membership, the labour
movements in Nigeria – under the umbrellas of the Nigeria
Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress – have
evolved to become the pivot of governments’ objectives of
delivering good governance and providing higher standard
“Having been in government at a high level and being a
private sector player with thousands of Nigerians on the
payroll of my companies mean that I have seen first-hand
the needs of workers both in the private and public sectors
and the importance of the labour movement.
“But as I have stated throughout my adult life, true
federalism and a proper decentralization of resources and
functions away from the government at the center to the
governments at the state tier of our governmental structure
is key to providing the labour force what they need and
deserve. I believe that our federal government will become
smarter when it is smaller and more flexible in addressing
the needs of our labour force.
“But we must have tangible solutions to address the needs
of our incredible and talented labour force.
“Let’s engage our leaders on the following:
“Minimum wage: It is my firm belief that whoever works
should be adequately rewarded. The reward of a service
well rendered is a reasonable wage that can keep the earner
sensibly motivated to put in his best.
“The minimum wage of ₦18,000 per month (less than $50),
as is currently obtained in the country, considering the
current economic reality is not only ill-motivating but
“While it is adequate that the federal government can set the
standard for the national minimum wage, such a national
minimum should however not be interpreted by respective
state governments (especially the rich states) as being the
maximum wage they should pay to their workers but simply
the baseline for them to build on.”