Former Minister of Youth and Sport, Engr Bala Bawa Ka’oje has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to approve N25,000 as minimum wage but reduce the number of workers to enable government to pay workers’ salaries promptly.
According to Ka’oje, workers that will be laid off should be given pay-off cheques immediately while about N200 billions should be deposited in some Banks as safety net which will be given as soft loans to the affected workers who will want to go into business especially agriculture.
He said; “It is important to note that the present pay for workers is not enough to sustain somebody. If you are earning N18, 000, I wonder how you can pay your rent, feed your children and pay their school fees. I think it is almost impossible to do all these things with a paltry sum.”
“So, to me, it is the rights of the workers to have salaries increment from the monthly pay that they get. However, if I were the president, I will bring in some reformation into the system in such a way that all these problems of failure of government especially states government to paying salaries will be brought to an end,”
Ka’oje said adding that half of the money government pay to workers especially in states, goes to ghost workers which is very difficult to get rid because the leadership is involve.
“The system has made it very difficult to apprehend those behind the ghost workers. But president in his wisdom can bring about a very meaningful transformation system by way of getting the right kind of consultants that will carry out the need assessment of the workforce of ministries, agencies and parastatals, to start with,” he said.
According to Ka’oje, once the report is presented to the president, then, they should disengage those whose services are not required and should be paid off.
“Those people will be send-off with their cheques, paying them all their entitlements so that they can go and start a new life in other sectors of the economy.
We have the agriculture which is opening up and many people are making millions of money while some are sitting idle in government offices and receiving salaries.”
“So, the government should send them out in order to improve the productive system in the country and government will also provide additional safety net by putting certain amount in some banks so that the same people who have been disengaged from the government service can equally borrow from such funds if they have a viable business idea.
This will enable them to start their businesses and contribute to the growth of the economy.”