As the Nigerian Government and organized labor continue to engage in heated discussions about increasing the minimum wage for workers, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Delta State Gubernatorial aspirant, has suggested that the solution to Nigeria’s economic problems lies in deflating the economy rather than increasing the minimum wage. Currently, the Federal Government has stated that they are willing to pay a minimum wage of N62,000, which is N2,000 higher than their initial offer of N60,000.

On the other hand, organized labour has lowered their demand from N494,000 to N250,000 per month. However, a final solution has not yet been reached.

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In response to the ongoing dispute between both parties, Onuesoke expressed his belief that increasing the minimum wage would not solve the country’s economic problems; instead, it would only worsen them.

He stated, “Nigerians have it all wrong. What Nigeria needs is deflation. If you increase the salary to one million Naira today, the prices of goods and services will continue to increase. The more you raise the minimum wage, the more it aligns with the rising costs of goods and services.

Even the average person who is not a civil servant but produces food items like pepper, tomatoes, yam, garri, etc., will increase their prices.” “On the other hand, wage increases cannot match the inflation rate because as salaries increase, more currency circulates in the system.

With more currency flowing, the prices of goods and services will keep rising. It’s a simple economic theory. The more workers’ salaries increase, the higher the inflation rate becomes.” “It’s important to remember that the country is not solely reliant on civil servants. Civil servants make up only 14% of the service providers in Nigeria; they are an insignificant fraction.

When we focus on civil servants, we ignore the private sector, which is not considered part of the civil service. There is no private sector that could afford to pay such high salaries every month.” Onuesoke explained that what Nigerians truly need is a reduction in the inflation rate to the extent that even if a worker earns a minimum wage of N20,000, they can comfortably pay their rent and fulfill other responsibilities.

To achieve this, the PDP chieftain urged the government to prioritize the construction of low-cost housing for the common man, subsidize it, and offer mortgage plans for lifetime payment. “The people need social infrastructure that will reduce their hardships. What I am proposing is that the Federal Government and state governors should focus on massive agricultural and housing programs.

They should subsidize and lower the cost of education. Health insurance should be accessible to all.” “Our problem is that we make projections without having a comprehensive database of Nigerians.

If you ask our leaders how many acres of land are needed to produce a certain quantity of cassava, they wouldn’t know. Yet, they go on air and throw around figures borrowed from armchair economists or their imagination.”

“Each local government should have access to 80,000 acres of farmland for cassava, yam, maize, rice, and other crops.

Refineries should be repaired. What is stopping the country from fixing the four refineries? Are we unable to fix them? Why are we importing refined products when we are the sixth-largest oil-producing country in the world?” Onuesoke questioned.