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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NAAT proposes N350K minimum wage

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has proposed N350, 000 as minimum wage for workers in the country.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this at the association’s 5th National Delegates Conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

The conference was themed “Technology, a recipe for national development and social-economic growth in the 21st century: The Nigerian quest for a better tomorrow”.

Nwokoma said that nothing less than N350,000 monthly would be enough for Nigerian worker to meet the prevailing economic challenges.

According to him, the removal of fuel subsidy, though with purported intentions to streamline the economy, has inadvertently burdened the worker.

“This is coupled with inflationary pressures, particularly in the unbearable food prices, and the volatility of the exchange rate owing to the floating regime adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Nigeria must transcend the concept of a mere minimum wage to embrace the notion of a living wage, commensurate with the rising cost of living.

“Comparatively, other African countries have made strides in this regard, recognising the fundamental right of workers to earn wages that afford them dignity and a decent standard of living,.

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“On this note, I propose a minimum of N350, 000 for the Nigeria worker as monthly wage,”he said.

He decried the poor funding of tertiary institutions, in spite of the UNESCO-recommended allocation of at least 26 per cent of the national budget to education.

Nwokoma lamented that Nigeria had persistently fell short of the expectations.

He said the consequence was evident in the deteriorating state of the universities and other tertiary institutions, marked by inadequate funding and infrastructural decay.

“This chronic underfunding hampers academic excellence and impedes the development of human capital, hindering our nations progress,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman justified his position that candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions should be 18 year and above.

According to Mamman, a good number of students below the age of 18 in higher institutions were falling prey to negative vices.

It would be recalled that the minister had advocated for the review of undergraduate age while monitoring the conduct of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Abuja.

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On the theme of the conference, the minister said that government was planning to adopt skills and technology from the primary school to the tertiary level.

Mamman said the introduction of skills and technology would go a long way to bridge the unemployment gap.(NAN)

Joan Nwagwu
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