By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo
Ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Lagos State has urged Federal and State Governments as well as private establishments in the country to consider early payment of April salary, to cushion the effect of lockdown imposed across the country.
MSSN added that prompt payment of this month’s salary would assist Muslim workers to make adequate preparation for the fasting that starts in less than five days.
The Amir, MSSN Lagos, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, who spoke on behalf of the society, noted that timely payment of the April salary has become expedient due to the lockdown imposed on Lagos State and others by President Muhammadu Buhari, to flatten the curve of coronavirus in Nigeria.
In a statement made available to TheGuild, Ashafa added that early payment will enable Muslim workers to make provision for the essentials that will sustain them during the fasting period especially as it would commence during the lockdown in the country.
He said this gesture would further boost the palliative measures that governments and corporate organizations have been doing to cushion the impact of the lockdown occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, the expectations of workers from their respective employers at this time are enormous considering the financial responsibilities they have to address while staying at home.
He said, “It is not out of place for the government and the private sectors to pay their workers their April salary now essentially because of Ramadan.
“To a very large extent, people have demonstrated high level of cooperation and compliance with the orders of government and precautionary measures of the NCDC. As a result, it is only ideal is for employers to show some level of empathy and compassion for their workers because we are first humans before any other thing,” Ashafa added.
He urged employers particularly the government to explore all avenues at deploying more strategies and welfare packages that will have a direct positive impact on the lives of workers.
Ashafa equally exhorts the Muslim Ummah to see social distancing even in Ramadan as a necessary religious precept at this trying period.