Real Reason I Increased Minimum Wage To N40,000, Obaseki
Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Edo state Governor on Sunday increased the minimum wage to N40,000.
Hundreds of suffering pensioners in the state, in black attire, with placards bearing various inscriptions, yesterday protested at the Workers’ Day rally at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, disclosing that since their retirement in 2012, they were yet to be paid their gratuities.
One of the protesting pensioners, Irene Aiguobarueghian, said life had become unbearable for the retirees, urging Obaseki to specially consider their plight.
The governor said: “I am particularly interested in our senior citizens, because they are some of the most vulnerable in our society. We took interest in payment of outstanding pensions to our pensioners, in spite of the fact that these pensions were owed by the previous administration.
“In view of the prevailing economy circumstances, I have now approved, effective this May, that the agreement we have reached with the union of pensioners that the harmonised amount be paid from May 2022.
“Government is aware of the difficulties faced by the pensioners, due to the non-payment of pensions and gratuities to them by the previous government. This responsibility is huge, and it will require substantial part of our resources to settle them.
“We are not a government that is known for running away from challenges. We will look for a way to tackle this challenge.”
He acknowledged the economic hardship in Nigeria, urging civil servants to take advantage of the opportunities offered by his administration in the agricultural sector, to increase food production in the country.
Obasaeki said: “As we all know, the minimum wage of N30,000 can barely sustain a family. It will be immoral and mindless of us to continue to pretend that we do not know that our workers are suffering.
“The government of Edo State has decided to review the minimum wage for Edo workers from N30,000 to N40,000 a month. Undoubtedly, Edo is the first state since the current outbreak of Coronavirus to take this initiative. “
“Even though, we would have loved to pay more, we hope that this little adjustment would enable the workers to cushion the effects of inflation being faced.
“There is no doubt that the financial implication of the increase in minimum wage will be heavy and put another burden on Edo government, but as a government, we are prepared to make the sacrifices, so that the workers can live a better life. Your welfare is our number one priority.”