• Saturday, June 15, 2024
businessday logo


How we’ll fund N70,000 minimum wage for Edo workers – Obaseki

How we’ll fund N70,000 minimum wage for Edo workers – Obaseki

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki says the N70,000 new minimum wage for workers in the state is within what his administration can afford, noting that the increase became necessary as a result of the current economic realities.

The governor said this while addressing workers during the 2024 May Day celebration in Benin, the state capital on Wednesday.

He praised the workers for the harmonious relationship with his administration, noting that the peaceful disposition of the organised labour in the State with the government has led to several achievements for the state government.

Obaseki noted, “Two days ago, I announced that we have raised the minimum wage for Edo workers from N40,000 to N70,000 naira, an increase of over 75 percent. This is because we know and feel the pains and hardship which most of you experience daily.

“Fuel subsidy has been removed. The exchange rate has more than doubled, food prices have gone almost off the roof and most of you find it difficult to feed yourself and your family.

“We are an empathetic government; we can’t say we do not know and if we know, we can’t sit down without doing anything about it. This is why we say even if it’s a strain on us, we should do what we ought to do to increase the minimum wage for our workers.”

He continued: “The N70,000 minimum wage is within what we can afford as a State Government. However, should the Federal government decide on a higher minimum wage and make the funds available to States from the savings which have been made from fuel subsidy, the Edo State government will adjust its minimum wage to that of the Federal government.

“Your salaries will continue to be paid on or before the 26th day of every month. We would continue to ensure we have an effective health insurance scheme to assist public servants. This scheme has assisted many families. I encourage you to enrol into this scheme.

“I assure our pensioners that we will continue to pay your premium so that it will enable you to attend to your healthcare needs in our health facilities in the State. To our workers, we would continue to pay your health insurance so that if anything happens to you, your families will not be left in penury.”

The governor praised the workers for their support, noting, “I am here today to thank you because you made our several achievements possible because of the harmony and peace between labour and government in the state.

According to him, “I would be leaving office in six months but will not be leaving you because I will be leaving in place a 30-year Benin City and Edo State Regional Development Plan which will be a direction where we should be going as a people and a state for the next generation.

“We have improved the condition of service and changed the narrative and our processes, systems, workplace and conditions of service are second to none. We have introduced technology on the basis in which civil service rests and have improved the way we work.”

Odion Olaye, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), commended the governor for raising Edo workers’ minimum wage from N40,000 to N70,000 even without the Edo workers’ agitation.