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Recovered Loot Can Fund Minimum Wage, Says Falana

 

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has stated that both the federal and state governments can afford to pay the national minimum wage if looted funds are recovered.

In an interview with Channels Television, Falana remarked, “The state governments that claim they have no money to pay actually have the funds. All they need, including the Federal Government, is the political will to collect and recover money that has either been looted or withheld from the federation account.”

This statement comes amid ongoing negotiations between organized labor and the federal government over the new minimum wage, with the government rejecting labor’s initial demand of N62,000.

At the last meeting of the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage held on Friday in Abuja, labor reduced its demand from N494,000 to N250,000, while the federal government increased its offer from N60,000 to N62,000.

Due to the National Assembly being on holiday, the proposed minimum wage may have to wait until July 2. During the interview, Falana urged Nigerian authorities to muster the political will needed to pay the minimum wage.

Falana’s comments highlight a broader issue of accountability and governance in Nigeria, where significant amounts of public funds are lost to corruption. By recovering these funds, the government could address critical issues such as the payment of fair wages, which has been a longstanding demand of Nigerian workers.

The debate over the minimum wage has intensified as inflation and the cost of living continue to rise, putting additional pressure on the government to find sustainable solutions. The organized labor groups have been vocal about the need for a livable wage, and the ongoing discussions are crucial for millions of Nigerian workers who struggle to make ends meet on current salaries.

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Falana’s call for political will resonates with many Nigerians who believe that with proper governance and anti-corruption measures, the country has the resources to significantly improve the living standards of its citizens. The upcoming sessions of the National Assembly will be critical in determining the outcome of these negotiations and the future of the minimum wage in Nigeria.

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