N18.000 MINIMUM WAGE TOO SMALL
A transporter, Mr Rasheed, who plies the Lagos-Cotonou route in Benin Republic, told our correspondent that the N18,000 minimum wage for civil servants was too small.
He berated the country's leaders, whom he accused of being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, and urged the federal government to act fast to avert the strike, as its impact could be devastating.
Speaking further, he said: 'What is N18,000 for a man who has a family to feed? As a driver, I can spend it within two days knowing that I will get one tomorrow. But for a man who receives his money at the end of the month, what can N18,000 do for him?
'Government should do something as a matter of urgency to avert the impending strike because it will do nobody any good. Once labour embarks on strike, there won't be supply of fuel and as soon as we exhaust the one in our tank, it will be a big problem. 'People will suffer because transport fare will go up as black market will thrive and this will have a spiral effect on the economy.'
Another driver, John, who plies the same route, lamented what he termed larger-than-life attitude of our leaders.
'How much does a local government councillor receive in a month as salary? Why would the government find it difficult to pay a meager N18,000 as minimum wage? Do they think we don't know how they steal our money in Abuja? They should not allow the strike to take place in order not to add to the already existing burden of Nigerians.'
For the Financial Secretary of Tri-Cycle Association, Amuwo Odofin Branch, Mr Funso Asanlu, the strike will be bad business for them as most of their customers are civil servants. He said the situation would enrich the fuel black marketers at the expense of ordinary Nigerians and called on the federal government to listen to labour to avert the impending avoidable pain that it would cause.