The Liberation Party of Nigeria (LiP), a socio-political group, has called for a reduction in salaries and emoluments of politicians in Nigeria to fund the new minimum wage.
Idowu Awopetu, Chairman of LiP, said since the signing of the new minimum wage into law, there have been moves in some quarters to sell government properties in order to fund the new minimum wage.
Awopetu added that selling government assets to fund minimum wage wouldn't be sustainable.
He said: “The country has gone through this route of selling government assets some years ago. The outcome was to enrich the political class; most of the privatised companies were never turned around.
"The sale of government assets, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), should not even be contemplated based on the importance of oil in the country’s development calculus.
“There exist other frameworks such as commercialization that can make state-owned enterprises to be effective and efficient."
Awopetu suggested that running a transparent government and making the country not conducive for corruption would provide funds to pay the minimum wage.
He also proposed deduction in the emoluments of politicians, which he sajd would make funds available for the country.
“The issue is to have robust and transparent governance that would fight corruption, thievery and outright looting of the treasury to preserve or utilize such funds for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.
Awopetu continued: “More still, the unsustainable emoluments of politicians, which currently consumes upward of 20% of the national budget, needs whittling down and aligned with general emolument.
“The Liberation Party of Nigeria (LiP) is committed to operating an economy in which the private sector will be allowed to participate in the economy as much as will be necessary, but at no point shall the role of the private sector be allowed to conflict with the need for social equality, welfare and national sovereignty.
“It is our view that to generate additional revenue, the government should block the looting of the economy, reform the tax administrative system so that the rich can pay more tax; monetize oil receipts at N360.00-U$ to the government; reduce or eliminate waivers, incentives and exemptions thereby increasing revenue for the government."
He cautioned the government against increasing “VAT from 5% to 7.5%,” stating that it “will hurt the populace, and while it may bring additional revenue to states, will ultimately discourage investment particularly at this point when diversification of the economy is crucial, and unemployment is very high".
He also called for massive investment in social programmes, while calling on the government to implement policies that would change the structure of the economy from that of consumption to production.