A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to grant the N56,000 minimum wage demand by the Nigerian Labour Congress, saying it is not too much considering the depreciation of naira.

He lamented that the nation’s leaders had not shown enough concerns and empathy for the Nigerian workers and the unemployed in the society.

He said, “Unemployment is a scourge more painful than corruption, in fact, it is more painful because unemployment festers corruption.

“I agree with the NLC on its demand for the new minimum wage. No government in this country should pay less than that. The NLC is even being benevolent. Why is government running away from paying that minimum wage? Why is government not creating employment opportunities?”

Olanipekun spoke at the laying of the foundation for a new church building for the Saint Peter’s Church in Ikere-Ekiti, his hometown.

According to him, Nigerian leaders and wealthy individuals are self centred, self opinionated, narrow-minded, and so restrictive in reasoning.

“We want our own children to survive, but we don’t want an army of other Nigerian children to succeed. This is why poverty thrives here.

“You alleviate poverty by giving good governance, by stopping stealing, by giving employment, by not snatching ballot boxes. The ballot box should be seen as a sacred box; don’t touch — you must respect it. It is a collective conscience of all of us. It is a corporate surrender of all of us and it is sacred. Don’t buy election or give money to buy voters to your side.

“Woe betides those who loot the treasury, but looting can be prevented with adequate government policies and good governance. By bad governance, we are encouraging looting.”