What Nigerian workers need is deflation, not hiked minimum wage – Onuesoke

Following the back-and-forth over minimum wage between the Federal Government and the organised labour, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has stated that the solution to Nigeria’s economic debacle is not an increase in the minimum wage, but deflation of the economy.

Recall that as of Friday, the Federal Government has stated that it would be able to pay N62,000 as minimum wage, which is N2,000 above its initial offer of N60,000, rejected by organised labour which has earlier stepped down their demand from N494,000 to N250,000 per month.

Reacting to the imbroglio between both parties, Onuesoke disclosed that an increase in wages will not solve the economic problem in the country, but worsen it.

“Nigerians are getting it wrong. What Nigeria needs is deflation. If you increase the salary to one million Naira today, the prices of goods and services will keep increasing.

“The more you increase the minimum wage, the more it goes pari passu with the increase of goods and services.

“The average person who is not in the civil service but produces food items like pepper, tomatoes, yam, garri etc will increase his produce.

“Wage increase cannot match resolve the inflation rate because as there is more salary increase, there is more currency in circulating in the system.

“When there is more currency flow in the system, the prices of goods and services will keep increasing. It is a simple economic theory. The more the increase in workers’ salaries, the more you will build up the high inflation rate.

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“The country is not being controlled by only civil servants. The civil servant is just 14% of those providing services in Nigeria. They are insignificant margin.

“When you are thinking of civil servants, the private sector is not addressed as civil servants. There is no private sector that will be able to pay that amount of money as salary monthly,” he warned.

The former PDP governorship aspirant further explained that what Nigerians need right now is the reduction of the inflation rate to the extent that even if a worker is receiving N20,000 as minimum wage, he should be able to pay his rent and take care of other responsibilities comfortably.

To reduce the inflation rate, the PDP Chieftain urged the government to intensify the building of new low-cost houses for the common man, subsidise it and mortgage it to be paid for the period of their life time.

“The people need social infrastructure that will downsize, that will deflate, that will reduce the hard side of their hardship.

“What I am saying is that the Federal Government and state governors should intensify massive agricultural and housing programme.

“They should subsidise and reduce the cost of education and health insurance should be all-embracing.

“Our problem is that we are giving projections without knowing the database of Nigerians. If you ask our leaders how many acres of land will produce certain quantity of cassava, they don’t know it. But they go on air to produce certain figures borrowed from armchair economists or their brains.

“Each local government should be able to have 80,000 acres of farmland of cassava, yam, maize, rice etc. They should fix the refineries.

“What stops the country not to fix the four refineries till tomorrow? Is it a problem to fix the refineries? Why are we importing refined products and we are the number six oil-producing country in the world?” he queried.



Tribune Online