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Price regulation, solution to economic challenges, says NGO

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Minimum wage

A non-governmental organisation, Safe and Better Nigeria, has said that regulation of prices of goods and services and not minimum wage is the solution to the economic challenges confronting the nation.

The group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Solomon Charles Ikpaka, urged organised labour and the Federal Government to sit down and work out a concrete plan to regulate the prices of goods and services.

The statement, made available to on Monday in Yenagoa, noted that the daily increase in the prices of goods and services was causing untold hardship to the citizenry, thereby making the country inhabitable.

Ikpaka lamented that people were dying daily and crime was at its peak as the naira was too weak to afford much, both locally and internationally, and that Nigerians were willing to do the most unimaginable things, no matter the consequences, to survive.

He averred that if organised labour and the Federal Government agreed on a new minimum wage without tackling the soaring inflation, and in a few years from now, civil servants would begin another round of agitation for a new minimum wage due to the upsurge in the prices of commodities.

He said even garri, sugar, groundnut and sachet water that used to be the hope of the common man are now too expensive because of the inflation.

Ikpaka said, “In some parts of the country, especially in Delta State, people no longer accept five naira and N10 as legal tenders because there is nothing in Nigeria that’s being sold for ten naira.

“People can no longer afford the cost of transportation, school fees and other basic things in the country. Organised labour should be patriotic this time and do something that will benefit the whole country, especially those who are not receiving salary from the Federal Government so that Nigeria can be peaceful and conducive for the poor and the destitute to dwell in.”

He pointed out that in a normal economy, a salary of only N10,000 monthly could go a long way in sustaining a large home and it was about time those who matter in Nigeria sat down to analyse the nation’s problems with a view to coming up with lasting solutions.

Ikpaka said the leadership of SBN was concerned about the developments in the country and desired to see a Nigeria where the economy was strong, prices of goods and services were stable and the people did not need to have millions of naira before they could live comfortably.

The group called on all governors and members of the National and State Assemblies to look at the issues presented by the group critically.

The group also called on President Bola Tinubu to be kindhearted and pay attention to the issues fueling the new minimum wage protests by organised labour with a view to addressing them once and for all so that Nigeria would not disintegrate in his time.

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