by Cheta Nwanze

salary_in_naira

Duty dictates however, that I must point out that Nigerian labour laws already state that an employee must earn a wage. 

If you are new to this morning tonic, you can view previous pieces here.

I moved back to Nigeria for exactly four years and five days now. In that time I have had one proper job in a proper firm, lasting for fifteen months. My former employer still owes me unpaid salary for a total of four months. After I left that behind, I took to working for myself, or being unemployed as some would describe it, and even then, I occasionally encounter the same issue of unpaid wages/fees/salaries/bills. Folks, it is a HUGE problem in these parts, and to be honest, it stems from one source. Nigerian governments have, since 1979 at least, made it a point of duty as it were, to owe people money. When you owe contractors, who employ Nigerians, then those contractors will owe someone, in most cases, those Nigerians who work for them. In any event though, the move by the House of Reps to criminalise employers defaulting on pay is very welcome. You see, for too long this habit has been allowed to fester in our system, such that it has kind of moved from being a bad habit, to being an acceptable one. For the records, it is quite the norm in the Nigerian media, so people should stop complaining about journalists collecting brown envelopes. Junior’s school fees cannot wait while the Publisher decides whether to pay one month out of the six he is owing.

Duty dictates however, that I must point out that Nigerian labour laws already state that an employee must earn a wage. This brings us right back to the issue of enforcing existing laws, something that our law enforcement agencies have already proved not to be adept at. The takes us right to the middle of the next question, how will the proposed new law have any effect if/when it cannot be enforced? How will we know when it is being broken since no proper records will be kept regarding employer compliance? Will any records be kept of contracts that have been executed and such employers paid? Do records exist of constituency projects embarked upon by House of Reps members? If no such records exist, then why is the Presidency wasting its time setting up a probe panel to probe such constituency projects? Why is the Auditor General not the one in charge of this investigation?

So many questions, so few answers. I’d have loved to meet an authorised, and reliable source within the Presidency to get answers to the questions that are burning within my cranium, but #DoyinOkupe though authorised, hardly, to me at least, qualifies as a reliable source. Methinks that some of his outbursts tend to do more harm to the image of the Presidency than good, such as yesterday’s. Now consider some of the statements he made yesterday, “That visit, which was borne out of sheer political recklessness, could have caused Nigeria major security embarrassment but for the fact that the Federal Government and its security apparatus made extra efforts to ensure that the visiting governors were safe. Being elected officials, the onus was on the Federal Government to ensure that they were safe in spite of their being oblivious of the peculiar security implications and real potential dangers inherent in their hurriedly packaged visit.”

Is #DoyinOkupe telling us that the Fed’s only responsibility in terms of security is to make sure that elected officials are safe? What about the man on the street? Oh well, look out for my campaign posters in 2015.

Quote of the day

Another sound-byte from #DoyinOkupe: “A few days ago, a retired police chief, Bill Dowling aged 59, who was a station commander at Marlborough Police Station for over five years, was killed with his girlfriend in his home town in the United Kingdom. Till date, no opposition politician in the UK has insinuated that this was an evidence of a failed state or ineffective government in the area of security or law enforcement.”

Neither have the Metropolitan police arrested 500 people who were unfortunate enough to go relaxing a few days after a high ranking police officer was shot.

Bits and bobs

Sultan Sa’ad wants #BokoHaram to get the same deal as @MEND. Clear the top floor of the Hilton perhaps?

After a motion to suspend her was moved, Honourable Adijat of the Ogun House of Assembly seconded it, and displayed her NURTW membership card, by changing the shape of the mace. Expect a mace restoration committee to be set up soon.

Some do-gooders are accusing the government of closing Wazobia FM in Kano because “it is critical of the government”. While I don’t support the NBC’s move, I must point out that I go on air every other morning and criticise the government. Methinks that the NBC’s using a sledgehammer to kill a fly was borne out of the ignorance exhibited by the show hosts in reiterating the lunacy that polio vaccination is meant to render Muslim women infertile.

Passengers going to Ghana will have to face the harrowing experience of Murtala Mohammed International Zoo as a result of an aviation fuel scarcity in that country.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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