While workers across the country are celebrating the newly signed into law national minimum wage, a former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh, has expressed fears that the new N30, 000 minimum wage, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18 would lead to chaos, The Nation reports.
Momoh, who is also a chieftain of the APC spoke in Abuja during a chat with journalists yesterday as part of activities to mark his 80th birthday, said the so called minimum wage is not a living wage.
He said: “My prediction is that the N30,000 minimum wage will cause chaos because many state governments that were paying N7,500 before N18,000 was introduced could not pay then.
“A lot of them are currently finding it difficult to pay N18,000 now. They are already saying they can’t pay, and this would lead to strikes. When that happens, the nation is in trouble.
“The N30,000 minimum wage is not a living wage. What is the percentage of the workers in Nigeria that are entitled to the N30,000 minimum wage? What is the percentage of the public servants compared to the percentage of the entire working population in Nigeria?”
Prince Momoh, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also posited that the idea of party supremacy will not work when it comes to the issue of National Assembly.
He stressed that party supremacy would have been possible if the country is running a parliamentary system of government.
He therefore noted that under the current presidential system of government, the party may not have its way with respect to imposing its candidates on the National Assembly.
He said, “The National Assembly has its own personality that it protects in spite of political party differences. It has always been so since 1999. There has been no effective party supremacy.
“Party supremacy cannot be effective in the presidential system because it stands alone. It can only succeeds if there is cooperation not by imposition.
“In 1999, Evans Enwerem was not the choice of the senators. They wanted Chuba Okadigbo. So, Enwerem did not last when he emerged.
“Also in 2015, the party wanted Femi Gbajabiamila but Yakubu Dogara got it.
“Since 1999, there have always been problems between the legislators and the party candidates. The legislators come together to pursue common interests and party supremacy is obviously not one of them.
“In the parliamentary system, the party with the majority will dominate leadership positions in the legislators. The prime minister is also a member of the parliament.”
The elder statesman also advocated restructuring as the only way of resolving the numerous challenges confronting the country.
According to him, “Nigeria is too top-heavy in administering governance, and we need to decongest the political space.
“National Assembly makes law in 93 areas comprising the exclusive and concurrence lists.
“In federations worldwide, we don’t need more than 18. The rest should go to regions; they know what to do with it”.