Donald Duke, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party has advised the Federal Government to identify and solve the immediate problems confronting Nigerian civil servants, saying increment in minimum wage is not the solution. In a statement issued in Calabar, Duke said the current “fire brigade” response to the clamor for increase in minimum wage was tantamount to giving a short-term solution to a long-term problem. He called on the Federal Government to find a comprehensive and long-term solution to the lingering minimum wage crisis in the country. He said, “The best approach to solving this lingering problem is to identify and address the real needs of civil servants such as food, housing, transportation, health, children’s education and security, rather than focusing on salary increases.” Duke cited the highly subsidized Metro Blue public transportation scheme he introduced for civil servants as the governor of Cross River State which helped to cut down the transport cost of civil servants in the state during his administration. He urged the government to involve all stakeholders, including the organized private sector and state governments in the negotiation process, adding that they equally had important stake because they employed reasonable number of workers and called for a periodic review of salaries every 10 years, taking into cognizance variables such as inflation.
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