President Muhammadu Buhari has compared the proposed new minimum wage of N30,000 by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) with the story of a mad woman who doesn’t know when to increase or decrease demand.
Speaking in an interview with Arise TV, Buhari asked the NLC how they expect his government and state governors to get N30,000 minimum wage, considering the struggle to pay N18,000.
He said NLC wants to force his government to print more money to meet their demands, and narrated the situation using the story of a mad woman. He said:
“I have just mentioned how much this country was earning between 1999 and 2014, but there are states that were not paying salaries.
“We had to do what you call bailout twice and then paid Paris Club and whatever it is, up till now there are states that for six months are not paying one kobo.
“So, when the recruited labour wanted salaries to be increased, I had to relapse into my culture, Hausa culture, and told them about a mad woman; she went to make firewood, she made firewood, she tied it, once she couldn’t carry it because it was too heavy, she increased it instead of reducing.
“When they can’t pay the basic salary of N18,000 per month, they say it should go to N30,000. My budget presentation was no secret, I read it all out. Where do we get the money?
“Do we print more currency? If you do it, you cannot control inflation, but if we have to stay in government, they would force us to print more money, let everybody be a millionaire.”