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Tinubu advocates wage awards for workers ahead salary increment

As negotiation between the Federal Government and the labour unions intensified, President Bola Tinubu has appealed to State Governors to start paying workers wage awards pending the determination of the new minimum wage expected to address the country’s economy crisis.

Tinubu said that implementation of wage awards would provide much-needed relief for workers and boost the economy serve as a platform for the new minimum wage to rely upon without causing inflationary pressures across the country.

While noting that it adoption by state governors woul create the needed balance, the president assured Nigerians that the National Executive Council (NEC) would also adopt it

He made the recommendation on Monday in Minna, Niger State capital during the flag-off of the agricultural mechanization revolution for food security and the commissioning of the remodeled domestic terminal of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport in Minna, 

“If all of you, the sub-nationals have been paying the wages award, pending the determination of the new salary wage. Let all the states start paying the wages award. Whatever they are taking now plus the wage award would relieve the public.

“Please, I am not giving an order, I am appealing to you states, start paying the wages awards, let everyone start paying it. It is a relief to the people. The mechanism is the fact that it won’t be inflationary if we announce the new salary wage in a few weeks or months, they would have gotten used to the basic wages of N30,000 plus the wages award, and it will have a dampening effect on the market. Please get sub-nationals together and NEC should adopt this”, he added

Meanwhile, the President assured that the student loans and other economic measures would soon commence as steps are being taken by the government to relieve the people of hunger.

“The student loan programme will commence, there will be unemployment benefits for our graduates, and the social security programme for the elderly and vulnerable will commence, we are fine-tuning all these areas. We will relieve people of hunger.”

Tinubu also outlined plans for a comprehensive programme to address the challenges of violent attacks, cattle rustling, and other related issues pledging to organize an inauguration of the Livestock Change programme in Nigeria within the next few weeks, aiming to transform the current challenges into economic opportunities.

“Give me two to three weeks. You will be part of the inauguration of the livestock change in Nigeria.  I know what it means to economic sabotage for roaming cows to eat up the crops and vegetation of our lands, it could be painful but when we reorient the herders and make provision for cattle rearing. The Governors should provide the lands and as the President, I am committed to giving you a comprehensive programme that will solve this problem.”

He applauded the continued and aggressive determination of the Niger state governor in ensuring agricultural revolution for food security including efforts being put in place for Niger state to be one of the top food producers in the country while pledging his support to the state government.

“We have seen the level of commitment here from the state level, we have seen leadership and the success story of any leader is the ability to do what they ought to do at the time they ought to do it. You are doing the job, you are walking the talk and I must support you.

“Whatever support you need, you will get. We appreciate your efforts in the infrastructure development of the state, and I guarantee you the federal support. We flag off the hope, you deliver the hope and you reassure Nigerians.”

He stated that his administration is not concerned about making excuses or blaming the past government adding that he intends to take action, do his best to reengineer the finances of the country, and stay ahead on the right path.

Earlier, the Niger State Governor, Umar Bago, said that agriculture is key to the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges in critical sectors of our economy adding that his administration intends to seize every opportunity for the attainment of growth and engender prosperity for the people of the state and Nigeria.

He disclosed that when he assumed office as a Governor, he met the infrastructure of the state comatose including the rural and urban roads adding that despite the strategic roles the state plays in the nation’s economy as a crucial transit corridor connecting the North and South parts of Nigeria, the current state of dilapidation of these infrastructures across the state is terrible.

The governor noted that the state government had embarked on some ambitious initiatives to rehabilitate and expand some federal roads to address these challenges and establish efficient road infrastructure and cost-effective and secure movement of goods and services.

Bago stated that the state has approved 3,000 hectares of land for the special Agro-processing Free Zone out of which 1,000 hectares is dedicated to greenhouses, 1,000 for dairy and meat processing, and the other 1,000 hectares for Agro-processing storage, aggregation, and other value chain development components.

He stated that the state government has prioritized agricultural development as a catalyst for economic growth and poverty alleviation in the State as part of its efforts to advance the federal government’s aspiration towards food security in Nigeria.

“To further buttress the lead role Niger State is playing in agriculture and contributing to the overall food security of Nigeria, we shall explore over three million of the 8.3 million hectares of arable land, large water bodies with a multitude of tributaries, 23 grazing reserves, and 94 forest reserves. Therefore, Niger State stands as a beacon of hope and promise in the realm of agriculture and our springboard to harvest our potentials in the Green Economy and associated gains.

The Governor assured the President that Niger State shall serve as a champion for the food security agenda in the country stating that the state had procured a substantial number of agricultural equipment and inputs for enhanced agricultural activities in the state

He disclosed that the state is well positioned to produce 50 million metric tons of assorted food crops annually utilising about three million hectares of land by 2030, “On overall, Niger State intends to be the largest sub-national food exporter in Nigeria. To achieve this objective, we are determined to attract investments, private sector equity, and loans totalling 500 billion Naira annually over the next seven years.”

Bago also announced the partnership between the Niger State Government and the Lagos State Government designating Lagos State as the off-takers of the state agricultural produce saying, “This strategic initiative will attract over N1 trillion in investment into our agricultural sector, consequently fostering the creation of more than one million direct and indirect job opportunities. This collaboration symbolizes a significant step towards economic empowerment that you laid the solid foundation.”

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