Adaobi on Sunday: Billions For Clothes, And Pennies For Wages Of Labour


The news these days have left me more worried than ever. How come that a labourer is not entitled to his or her wages at the end of the day’s job? Did I say day? I mean months. For some workers, even more than a year of unpaid salaries.

It was one state crying out at first, but now more states are falling behind what would seem like a long roll call of those who have not paid workers! Workers that are the engine house of the nation, working for benefit all citizens.

So what happened? I will answer with a phrase from a musician’s song: “If you ask me; na who I go ask? The matter wey we see so, e tay wey e start. No be me go talk am, e heavy for mouth”.

As if this worrisome, heart wrenching reality of today’s government worker is not enough, the legislature invited Nigerians to its movie theatre to watch the premier of its latest film titled WARDROBE ALLOWANCE.

As I browsed news sites, I was astonished by the headlines WARDROBE ALLOWANCE 8.64 BILLION NAIRA. Hmmm, billions to wear cloth? No that can’t be, or has the Oxford English Dictionary redefined wardrobe to mean other things such as health, education, housing, transportation? And what is this thing about clothes people will wear to sit down and make laws? Clothes! Clothes! Really clothes, as in shirt and trouser, skirt and blouse.

As questions are now being asked, social media is exploding, calling for the heads of those involved. So, it is  now they know that taxpayers deserve an explanation. How so? Now all of a sudden the citizens ought to know? But really what is there to know, or consider, when one compares the fate of the legislature and the fate of the civil servants.

The civil servants groan as a result of the unpaid wages for jobs done. They groan under the pain of the looks of disappointment on the faces of their loved ones. They groan under the pain of being called a failure for that child who couldn’t go back to school, for that wife who died in the hospital because doctors insisted it was pay before service, the trader in the market who refused to sell simply because no credit today come tomorrow. And for the life of me it’s billions for clothes! How did we get here?

Well it seems in this century Nigeria may continue to suffer and smile. Not too long ago, it was a fuel crisis that brought the number one economy in Africa, the giant of Africa to a halt – businesses closing down, and daily movement almost impossible.

Which way Nigeria, which way to go? If you ask me; na who I go ask? The matter wey we see so, e tay wey e start. No be me go talk am, e heavy for mouth.

Maybe you may have some answers. You may go ahead and share your thoughts by leaving your comments at the end of this read.

Till I write again, as always I love you for reading.



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