Cost of living: Tinubu asked to increase minimum wage to N120,000

President Bola Tinubu has been advised by a prominent member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Seyi Olorunsola, to take quick economic action in order to meet the demands of the populace, as he is disturbed by the current state of suffering in the nation.

In ‘Addressing Economic Challenges for a Prosperous Nigeria’, an open letter sent to President Tinubu, Olorunsola, referred to the president as a transformative leader, and urged him to raise the national minimum wage to N120,000 or more in accordance with current realities.

The well-known APC leader stressed the urgent need for the President to change his economic policies. He also demanded a significant improvement in the field of food supply.

However, he criticized the lack of a clear policy direction under previous governments, particularly Muhammadu Buhari’s, for the nation’s economic issues.

The open letter dated on 16th February, 2024 and obtained by News24 Nigeria in Abuja reads in full : “Dear President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,

I pen this open letter with deep respect as a faithful party member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a true believer in your leadership and governance philosophy. As an ardent supporter, I cannot remain silent while the Nigerian economy faces pressing challenges that demand urgent attention.

Your illustrious track record as a successful entrepreneur and transformative leader in the private sector, coupled with your exceptional contributions to the economic turnaround of Lagos State, positions you as the ideal candidate to lead Nigeria to greater heights. The expectation is high, rightfully so, that you bring your wealth of experience to bear on the national stage.

The Nigerian economy’s challenges are rooted in past administrations, particularly the immediate past one led by President Muhammadu Buhari. The lack of clear economic direction, exacerbated by knee-jerk policies, led to a recession twice during his eight-year tenure. The absence of a cohesive economic team and the delay in forming a cabinet created a leadership void, leaving the economy in disarray.

Upon assuming office, your administration faced the herculean task of addressing the aftermath of the previous administration’s mismanagement. The abrupt removal of the oil subsidy, while a valid move, lacked a buffer solution for its ripple effects. This decision, coupled with the policy of floating the naira, plunged the country into a chaotic situation, eroding the goodwill that brought you into power.
To remedy the current economic challenges and avert a looming crisis, I propose a multi-faceted approach:

Immediate Actions

Minimum Wage Increase:
Raise the minimum wage to at least N120,000 across federal, state, and local government workers. Engage the Organized Private Sector to implement a similar increase, with support for businesses lacking capacity through special grants and loans.

Food Supply Boost:
Implement measures to increase food supply in the market, avoiding interventions that force private businesses to sell at government-fixed prices. Stimulate market oversupply to naturally drive down prices.

CNG Buses Implementation:
Fulfill promises of introducing over 100,000 CNG buses to reduce transport costs and positively impact the overall economy.

Medium-Term Strategies:
Business Environment Enhancement:
Create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. Address security challenges to instill confidence in investors. Tackle the energy crisis, ensuring consistent power supply.

Entrepreneurial Empowerment:
Encourage existing businesses with single-digit interest rate loans to expand their activities. Foster a spirit of enterprise and generate employment opportunities.
Leadership and Communication.

Leadership Transparency:
Acknowledge early mistakes in the administration’s decisions. Communicate sincerely with the Nigerian people, demonstrating humility and commitment to finding solutions.

Regional Engagement:
Undertake a nationwide tour to engage with citizens directly. Communicate the administration’s commitment to addressing their concerns.

It is imperative to use this medium to call on the APC National Chairman and his team to rally around the President by having strategic meetings with the party’s best economic minds as well as an interface with the Progressive Governors Forum to render whatever support is necessary to the President to weather this economic storm and come out with success.

It is also important to stress that on May 29, 2024, the administration will clock one year in office and the policies and programs will come under the scrutiny of the public. A stitch in time therefore saves nine.

In conclusion, Mr. President a proactive and transparent approach, coupled with immediate actions and strategic planning, can help douse rising tension and set Nigeria on the path to economic recovery. As an APC stalwart, I believe that prioritizing the welfare of Nigerians today will secure a better political future and ensure your continued success in leadership.”

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