A frontline politician in Ogun State, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo has given backing to the proposal tabled before the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the Trade Union Congress, ( TUC), that due to the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, the minimum wage should be increased from N30,000 to N200,000.
It would be recalled that the TUC at its meeting with the Presidential Committee last Sunday among its 14 proposal tabled at the meeting demanded that the minimum wage should be fixed at N200,000.
Ajadi, who is the gubernatorial candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Ogun state in the 2023 general elections in a statement on Wednesday said he supported the demand for the new minimum wage of N200,000 as a result of the multiplier effect of the removal of petroleum products subsidy, saying everything including cost of food stuffs, transportation among others are already going up and an average worker in the country will be suffocated if the minimum wage falls below N200,000
He also advised the Federal Government to judiciously channel the removed subsidy on infrastructural development to enhance economic development and growth in the country.
Ajadi specifically said the Federal Government should also build low cost housing for workers to ensure that they have roof over their heads, saying the cost of accommodation is not affordable to an average worker in the country.
He said the pronouncement by President Tinubu that petroleum subsidy is gone is being supported by many Nigerians because of alleged frauds that have been trailed it in the past years but said the Federal Government should as part of the palliative being proposed consider given workers affordable accommodation through mortgage, saying the payment should be spread across 25-30 years of active service.
Ajadi who is a Chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP) and its Gubernatorial Candidate in Ogun State in the last general elections stated that the Trillions of naira, being committed yearly by the federal government on fuel subsidy has no positive impact on the poor because, it was meant to enrich the few rich.
While advising that the government on its part should be sincere to spend the money accruable from the removed subsidy judiciously in developing infrastructure such as mass transportation, agriculture, schools, hospitals that will be accessible to the masses, stressing that, that is the only way the people can benefit from the removal of the fuel subsidy.
He said the growth of Nigeria may be a mirage if the government could spend more on recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure.
According to him, “subsidy is enough to build mono rail, schools, hospital, roads and other infrastructure and social amenities rather than for few people to pocket the money. That is why I don’t support subsidy provided that they can spend it judiciously on infrastructural development.
“One of the major challenges facing economic development in the country is power, electricity supply. If there is an improvement in power, it will reduce unemployment rate. Most of the artisans needs light, that is why most of them are riding motorcycles. If there is light, most of the cottage industry that are already in comatose would be revived.
“The only problem that I see is that, any country that is spending more on recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure will not grow. That is the basic fact because capital expenditure is the one that will help you to develop and generate future income and revenue.
“If roads are bad, no electricity and other infrastructure, it will affect productivity negativity. Our problem in this country is that we spend more on recurrent than capital.”