The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, has said there is serious hardship in Nigeria and called on those in authority to come to the aid of the poor and vulnerable.
Specifically, the monarch urged the First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, to convey the message of the teeming populace about the hunger in the country to the president.
He said even though the problem predated the Tinubu administration, economic and security challenges are quite apparent these days.
The emir made the call yesterday when the first lady paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Kano.
Mrs Tinubu visited Kano to officially open the Faculty of Law building at the Maryam Abacha American University, Kano, which has been named after her.
Her visit came barely three days after Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, paid a visit to his home state of Kano, after the state government had lamented worsening hunger and poverty in the state, owing to the prevailing harsh economic realities.
Dangote had later pledged to support social policies and human development initiatives of the Kano government aimed at ameliorating the economic hardship in the state, after a closed-door meeting with Governor Abba Yusuf, top government officials and other stakeholders in Kano.
Speaking to his special guest on the plight of citizens, the Kano emir said: “Although we have several means of communicating to the government on our needs and requests, your way and means is the surest to tell the president the actual happenings in the country.
“The issue of insecurity is another serious problem we are facing. I know your government inherited it, but something more seriously should be done to take care of the threats,” he said.
Come out clean on relocation of CBN offices, FAAN
Daily Trust reports that the first class emir also advised the Bola Tinubu administration to look into the complaints over the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN’s) headquarters from Abuja to Lagos.
“We are receiving a series of messages from our people. One such messages is the talks about the relocation of CBN offices and FAAN to Lagos. I think the government should listen to those complaints and clarify to Nigerians in the languages they would understand.
“Do more enlightenment on this matter. I, for one, cannot tell the actual intentions of the government. We should be made to actually understand why the relocation of the CBN and FAAN offices is happening now.
“If the decisions to relocate them are for good, let the people understand. And if some errors were made, there should be reviews, because there could be mistakes in human endeavours,” he said.
The monarch, while commending the first lady for her care for the wellbeing and welfare of children, advised her to try and actualize her Renewed Hope Initiative pet programme, adding that the programme, if fully achieved, would free the underprivileged from various challenges.
Expressing worries about girl child education, the emir urged Mrs Tinubu to look at the issue critically and make sure that it is tackled.
He commended her for supporting the people of Plateau during the crisis in the state, urging that a similar gesture should be extended to all and sundry.
Things will get better – First lady
Earlier in her address, the wife of the president called for calm as she assured citizens that the government was set to tackle the hardships being encountered by Nigerians.
“I bring you warm greetings from Mr President. He said that I should greet you, that he wishes you well.
“I thank all the chiefs and the queens that are in the palace. I thank Kano; this means a lot to me.
“Despite what is going on, we mean well for this nation. I remember what we did in Lagos. It was like it was a little bit shaky, but we assure Nigerians we are going to be resolute. So, just bear with us. But you should continue to assist whoever you can. Things will get better by the Grace of God,” the first lady stated.
Nigeria on the road to Venezuela – PDP govs
Meanwhile, governors elected on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from a meeting in Abuja, on Monday, with a call on President Tinubu to immediately put in place initiatives that will bring the prevalent economic crisis to an end.
Addressing journalists at Oyo Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Bauchi State governor and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Bala Muhammed, said the meeting deliberated on various issues of interest and concern to the country.
Bala lamented that Nigeria is almost on the ‘road to Venezuela’, and called on the federal government to work with relevant stakeholders to bring succour to Nigerians.
He said: “The meeting reviewed the state of the nation and noted the hardship being faced by Nigerians as a result of the economic and security challenges facing the nation.
“The forum consequently urges the federal government to as a matter of urgency embark on initiatives involving all the sub-national governments, to bring a lasting solution to the crises,” the governor added.
He said the PDP governors will continue to play their part in the efforts to bring security and economic relief to Nigerians.
The forum also decried the falling value of the naira, and requested the “monetary and fiscal authorities to find appropriate solutions.”
Meanwhile, answering questions from journalists, Governor Bala, who was flanked by other PDP governors, said: “Nigerians took a decision to bring the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the centre and we respect their sensibilities and sense of judgement. What we are doing is giving positive criticism to the obnoxious policies of the federal government.
“But at the onset of this administration, we supported the removal of subsidy. We believed that there were safeguards; we believed that if we took collective decisions, we should go by them. But certainly, we have seen that it is a free fall for the naira. The cost of living is going high; we are almost on the ‘road to Venezuela’.
“So, we are giving concrete opposition but not insulting anybody. But ultimately, the decision squarely rests with Nigerians and other organs in the country to make sure that we do things that will bring succour to all of us.”
Labour mulls N1m as new minimum wage
As a result of the current development in the country, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said organised labour was considering pegging the minimum wage for workers nationwide at N1 million if the current inflationary trend on basic needs continues.
The President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, who stated this when he appeared on Arise Television on Sunday evening, explained that the congress’ demand would not have been up to that magnitude if the cost of living had not risen to the present level.
The labour leader argued that the cost of living, which has been on the rise since Tinubu took office as president, was occasioned by the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, floating of the naira as well as other policies that had kept Nigerians at the present level.
“This N1 million may be relevant if the value of the Nigerian (naira) continues to depreciate and if inflation continues unchecked because the demand for labour is equally dependent on what is happening in society.
“You will remember that by the time we were contemplating N200,000 (as the minimum wage), the exchange rate was about N800/N900 (to a dollar). As we talk today, the exchange rate is about N1,400 or even more.
“Those are the issues that determine demand, and they are equally affecting the cost of living. And we have always said that our demand will be based on the cost-of-living index. You will agree with me today that even a bag of rice is going for about N60,000 or N70,000 or more,” Ajaero said.
Daily Trust had reported how both the NLC and its counterpart from the Trade Union Congress issued a 14-day strike notice to the federal government last Thursday, expressing dissatisfaction with its failure to follow a 16-point accord made in October 2023.
There’s need for caution on minimum wage – NACCIMA
While reacting to the NLC’s proposal, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Kelvin Oye, however, reiterated the need to follow due process and ensure that all discussions around the adjustment of the minimum wage were based on a comprehensive understanding of the facts and implications.
Oye said this in a letter where he responded to Ajaero’s interview.
He said it would be unfair for NACCIMA or any other member of the recently constituted 37-man committee to join issues with the NLC president or engage in public debate on the matter without first having the opportunity to review the facts and basis of the proposed N1 million minimum wage.