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El-Rufai advocates for “very low minimum wage”



El-Rufai advocates for "very low minimum wage" - BellaNaijaKaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has asked that the new minimum wage being considered be “very low,” Daily Trust reports.

He said this while speaking at the “Governance Matters” roundtable organised by the Development Alternative Incorporation (DAI) in Abuja.

Except the minimum wage is very low, he said, states will continue to have issues.

El-Rufai also criticised doctors while speaking, saying the health unions have been the “most irresponsible.”

Only an irresponsible doctor will “abandon” patients, he said, after swearing the Hippocratic Oath. He said:

Trade Unions have never served the country well. They have been selfish and everything is about their narrow interests. In general, in Nigeria, trade unions have been a danger to our progress and I think they should be curtailed.

The mistake we made as a country was placing trade unions in the Exclusive Legislative List.

If the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU) has an issue with the Federal Government, the state universities will go on strike too. We need to take labour matters out from the exclusive list so that the principle of no work, no pay could be effectively used to stop labour arrogance of unnecessary demands from government which has helped to kill our educational system and health sector.

In Kaduna, I warned the Kaduna State University, that if you ever go on strike again because of somebody else, I will fire all of you. I think the health unions have been the most irresponsible because only an irresponsible doctor will abandon his patients even after swearing to the Hippocratic Oath. I think Nigerian doctors are the only ones on the planet that go on strike.

I think we need to do some things. First, take labour matters out of the Exclusive List because many of us are victims of agreements reached with ASUU by the federal government. The states were never part of such agreements.

Secondly, is the issue of minimum wage, except we set a very low minimum wage, there will continue be issues especially with states that do not have wide tax net. You cannot set the same minimum wage for Lagos and Jigawa. Also, we must apply the labour laws strictly. No work, no pay, because there has to be a trade dispute before anything strike. That is what the law says.


  1. Dr.N

    March 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    The new minimum wage should be very low
    Doctors should stop being irresponsible
    Also…Governors should not earn a salary or security vote because they are not in government for the money but to serve e.g. the one who was called Chief servant and his wife Madam Chief servant

  2. Nigeria sef

    March 9, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    This man must think he runs a dictatorship. Set minimum wage laws lower than it already is? Is this a joke? Minimum wage is like what, 18,000 per month, and you want it to be lower than that? Do you not want people to live? Nigeria’s leaders do nothing good with the funds they have, yet they are consistently demanding more. Then what’s all this nonsense about stopping Unions and strikes? Yes, Unions are inherently selfish. That’s why they were created; to protect collective interests from people like YOU who will be happy to force a doctor to work despite barely paying him or not paying him at all. Meanwhile. I’m sure El-Rufai’s salary is through the roof and is never late, but he wants people who are barely making enough to make less and even go without. What kind of country is this for God’s sake?

  3. Engoz

    March 9, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    These Unions provide the necessary checks and balances to the government. It is to prevent tyranny in a democratic government. The APC can’t just help it but to showcase their tyrannical roots. Nevertheless, the government has failed to check these institutions as well. If the unions are demanding to be paid well, the government also has to place a demand that these institutions show the Nigerian public their indices and achievements in the sectors they represent. We currently have high mortality rates- our health sector is more like a serial killing, blood thirsty death trap. Despite this glaring traits of the Nigerian health sector, you hardly hear of doctors being convicted for the mass killings of Nigerians. In spite of that, we cannot compromise on education and health. Thus, give the Unions the necessary tools to succeed but demand they deliver with detailed timelines and penalties if they fail to meet up. Additionally, the Nigerian government has no business advocating for low minimum wages at this point, with the overindulgent amounts we spend on governance, and ‘allowances’/incentives it selfishly and gluttonously feels entitled to. Reduce your expenses to teacher salaries then you have a case to argue on lowering minimum wages.

  4. miss_nk

    March 9, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    see this thief. Lower minimum wage is now the answer? Not your over bloated salaries and benefits.

  5. 9ja

    March 10, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I agree with Mr. El-Rufai that civil servants in Lagos and Jigawa should not necessarily earn the same, but he misunderstands the concept of a national MINIMUM wage. It is a floor which entails that no civil servant (or eligible worker) wherever in Nigeria should earn LESS than that amount – but of course states like Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, etc., would be free to pay MORE than said amount.

    Personally, I believe every eligible worker should earn a living wage which would probably be upwards of N60k per month (and btw, nobody in Nigeria is presently paid only 18K monthly because the REAL and imputed wages/benefits of civil servants are not inconsequential). This might necessitate trimming the way over bloated public sector, and I cannot imagine that any politician would be “crazy” (or courageous) enough to do that in an election cycle.

  6. 9ja

    March 10, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Furthermore, I think that civil service salaries should be the first line item in federal allocations, so that it is deducted at source before any FAAC monies are paid into the states account. In addition, the political slush fund otherwise known as the Security Vote should be abolished, and expenses of elected public officers and political appointees be drastically cut. It is crazy that almost 70% of everything Nigeria earns and borrows (via Eurobonds and treasuries) is being spent via the recurrent expenditure of the annual budget to maintain about 1 million or less citizens out of a population of approximately 180m.

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