May Day: It’s Immoral to Pretend Not to Know Workers are Suffering, Says Obaseki as he jacks up Minimum Wage to ₦40,000

Godwin Obaseki Photo

…Approves payment of harmonised pension from May 2022

Workers and pensioners in Edo State were upbeat on Sunday as the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, announced a new minimum wage of ₦40,000, and payment of harmonised pension to civil servants and retirees respectively, in commemoration of this year’s Workers’ Day. Obaseki said the welfare of workers was his administration’s number one priority.

The governor, who made the announcement while delivering his 2022 Workers’ Day speech, assured senior citizens in the state that his government would look for a way to tackle the challenges of pensions and gratuities inherited from previous governments in spite of their huge financial implication.

According to Governor Obaseki,, “As we all know, the minimum wage of ₦30, 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 has now decided to review the minimum wage for Edo workers from ₦30,000 to ₦40,000 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 us to cushion the impact of the inflation that we are faced with. There is no doubt that the financial implications will be heavy and put another burden on the 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.”

Reassuring senior citizens of his government’s relentless support, Governor Obaseki lamented the hardship experienced by pensioners and other senior citizens as a result of rising cost of food and other items.

He said “I am particularly interested in our senior citizens because they are one of the most vulnerable in our society. We took interest in payments 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 economic circumstances, I have now approved, effective this May, the agreement we reached with the Union of Pensioners that the harmonised amount would be paid from May 2022.

“Government is aware of the difficulties faced by the pensioners due to the non-payment of pension and gratuities to pensioners by previous governments. This responsibility is huge and it will require a substantial part of our resources to settle them. However, we are not a government that is known for running away from challenges; we will look for a way to tackle these challenges”.

The governor however urged workers in the state to take advantage of opportunities offered by his administration in the agricultural sector to increase food production in the country.

Earlier in his address, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Odion Olaye, charged the federal government to step up efforts to tackle the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, and hunger in the country.

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