Against the backdrop of worsening hardship facing civil servants, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria has demanded N46,000 as minimum wage for workers.
The Secretary-General of ASCEN, Basir Lawal, said in Lagos on Wednesday that the current N18, 000 minimum wage was no longer acceptable.
He said the new wage being sought by workers was arrived at after the association’s meeting with the National Public Service Joint Negotiating Council.
“In the past one year, we presented a proposal for salary review to the Federal Government but the government said that the price of crude oil had fallen.
“We argued that if the price of crude is 30 dollars per barrel and the resources of the country are well managed, money will be enough to pay workers decent salaries.
“From the memo we submitted to the NPSJNC, we computed what it will take for an average worker to survive and we arrive at N66, 000.
“So we took 75 per cent of that and we arrived at N46, 000 minimum wage.
He said that the joint negotiation council used the table for the payment of N18, 000 minimum wages to arrive at the N46, 000 being demanded.
“If the government believes that the amount will create crisis, we will tell them what to do to ensure that everybody will be carried along.’’
He urged government to show understanding with workers on their demand and do the needful, to make life worth living for Nigerian civil servants.
The unionist said the government should itemise the income generating areas of the economy and set realistic targets.
Mr. Lawal advised the government to also appoint manageable number of special advisers and ministers to reduce cost.
He said that government should be able to use money generated from oil to improve the welfare of workers, “rather than paying slave wages”.
He said if President Muhammadu Buhari has 30 ministers and a sizeable number of them do well, it would trickle down and Nigerians would feel the impact.
Mr. Lawal also advised government to ensure that a percentage of revenues is set aside on regular basis, to serve as backup for the rainy day.
He further advised Mr. Buhari to appoint only credible people as ministers to ensure good governance and sustainable development.