Adamu Garba, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has expressed concern that the requests being made by labor unions to the Federal Government could lead to layoffs in the private sector.
As far as he is concerned, the Federal government can’t keep giving in to the demands of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
The former presidential hopeful pointed out that there are significantly less people employed by the federal government, state governments, and municipal governments together than there are in the private sector.
How are we supposed to manage as private sector employers in this situation? To what extent will the government affect us as well?
To quote one business owner: “If you force us to increase the minimum wage of all our staff beyond what our income can handle, it means retrenchment across many private companies.”
The unions, he said, should tread carefully in their negotiations.
There is an obvious vicious circle at play here: if we continue to spend 70% of our budget on civil officials’ salaries, then we can’t afford to remove subsidies to earn more for development, then we can’t afford to boost the minimum salary for the civil service again, and we’ll wind up spending all the subsidy gains on salaries.
As the saying goes, “we are at a crossroads, a proverbial battle between body and soul.” Either we pick our physiological pleasure by consuming everything today and damn the consequences from tomorrow, or we choose our soul by bearing the pains of now for the overall benefit of tomorrow.