The Federal Government remains committed to the implementation of the new national minimum wage, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
He said it was one of the key issues discussed at the inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
The president made the remark on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he spoke with the new executive of Trade Union Congress, TUC, led by its president, Comrade Quadri Olaleye.
Buhari said beyond the national minimum wage, his government would do everything possible to reduce the hardship in the country.
His words: “On fuel prices, I agree with you on the need to eliminate corruption and inefficiencies in the sector. I want to assure you that, as an administration, we have no intention of inflicting any additional hardship on Nigerians.”
He added: “During our first term, we secured the nation’s territorial integrity and continue to protect the lives and properties of our citizens. We introduced various economic stimulus packages that support businesses and traders at all levels, promoted backward integration programmes especially in the agricultural sector to enhance our food security while creating jobs.
“We embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects this country has seen in decades. We also introduced the largest Social Investment Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Although these programmes and many more successfully lifted Nigeria out of recession, the full impact is yet to be felt. In the next four years, we shall sustain this momentum and by the grace of God, lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.’’
The president blamed the present hardship in the country on the lack of investment in infrastructure by previous governments.
“You will agree with me that all these challenges and many more were long ago left unattended to, thereby leaving the country in the mired state we inherited. You all will also testify to having seen and experienced what we have put in place as an administration to address these challenges,’’ he said.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of TUC, Olaleye, stressed the need for the government to be concerned about the welfare of Nigerians.
He said to avoid increasing the hardship in the country, the government should not increase price of fuel, and should ensure the implementation of the new national minimum wage.
He assured the government of TUC’s support in tackling the challenges facing the country.