Salary Review: ‘Average Worker Earns Less Than Fuel Used To Fill Car Tank’ – Reps. Speaker, Abbas

Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Monday, advocated for a review of salaries for workers in the country.

The Speaker who disclosed this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Musa Abdullahi Krishi, in Abuja, had spoken at an event organised in his honour by the Nigerian high commission in London.

According to him, it was imperative to take a look at what an average worker would need to be paid as salary in view of the current economic reality.

He said there was a need to come up with a living wage that would take care of the basics of a person such that he would not have to look outside his lawful income.

“An average worker earns less than what somebody can use to buy fuel to fill his car tank. (Do) you still want that man to be honest and transparent?

“We need to also intensify the war against corruption. No society in this world can ever thrive and be what it wants to be if corruption is the order of the day. But I agree that for you to fight corruption, there are some things you need to do,” he said

Abbas highlighted the success achieved by the United Kingdom and other Western countries through a similar approach, adding that, “fundamentally, what they did was to sit down and look at what an average worker will need to be paid as salary.

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“Today, if you are a labourer in London, you will be paid enough for you to go and pay your rent, take care of your basics and still be able to have a fairly good living.

“With that kind of incentive, you don’t need to go and borrow, you don’t need to go and beg, you don’t need to go and steal.”

He furthered that, “For us to wage a war on corruption, we need to create an enabling environment where each and every one of us will be able to operate transparently without having to steal, intimidate, beg or borrow. That is the beginning of the reform.

“If we can get the rule of law working, we will be able to work on the reforms necessary for fighting corruption. In fighting corruption, we also need to create an enabling environment where an average worker should be able to earn enough to live with his family.”

Abbas said Nigeria’s war against corruption must also be strengthened for meaningful progress to be recorded.

He said the nation’s laws must be implemented in such a way that both the “big and the small” are treated the same way to give everyone a sense of justice and fairness.

“In Nigeria, some people do whatever they like. You can commit any crime and go scot-free depending on the size of your pocket or the people you know. That has to go,” he said.

“Unless we are able to strengthen our rule of law to make it in such a way that it affects both the big and the small, and it doesn’t look at the face of whoever is committing an offence, we will never go anywhere.”