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14 Dec 2018

Presidential Candidate Promises to Increase New Minimum Wage if Elected President

The presidential candidate for Peoples Trust Party (PTP), Gbenga Olawepo Hashim, has pledged to effect a new minimum wage of N50,000 for workers if elected into office.

The presidential aspirant disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He promised to grow the Nigeria’s economy from $510bn (its highest in 2013) to 4tn dollars in 10 years, if he becomes president.

“We want to grow the economy of Nigeria to become $4trillion in 10 years and that will put us at par with Malaysia, Thailand, as middle income economies and these were economies that Nigeria was ahead of in our early independence," he said.

“We are not setting standards like we want to become the United States of America; we just want to be where we were in 10 years, where we were in 1960.

“A 510billion-dollar GDP as at 2013 when we celebrated being the biggest economy in Africa is of course too small for 200 million people as our projected population is now. “Nigeria needs a 4trillion-dollar economy to become a middle income economy; that’s our target and it’s doable and we have set up a strategy to achieve this."

He said that the standard of living for Nigerian workers was quite low, noting that he would propose to effect a minimum wage of N50,000 for workers. “I am going to have a N50,000 minimum wage and that is lower than the minimum wage that Nigerian workers were awarded in 1983 which was N125; at that time you needed 55 kobo for a dollar.

“So basically, N125 minimum wage was more than N60,000 of today’s Nigeria; so by the grace of God when elected, the minimum wage by the first anniversary of our government will be N50,000 in Nigeria.

“That is what I believe is decent for an average worker; you can’t deal with corruption when you underpay people,’’ he said. He said his government would prioritise tourism, restructure the education system and expand income through infrastructure funds, solid minerals, foreign investments, and intellectual capital protection.

He promised to promote knowledge-based economy through effective copy right laws to ensure that innovators get due reward for their work and protect Nigeria’s intellectual property.

Meanwhile, a former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has cautioned politicians against engaging in conducts that could risk the lives of Nigerian citizens ahead of the 2019 polls.

Abubakar gave the caution on Channels TV when speaking about the forthcoming general elections scheduled for 2019. Abubakar urged political elites to put the interest of the nation first before considering their respective local government areas or states of origin.

The former head of state, who is also the chairman of the national peace committee, pleaded with politicians in the country to avoid the politics of bitterness and the use of abusive language.

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