Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday approved N40,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the state in commemoration of 2022 Workers’ Day.
Obaseki, who made the announcement in Benin while delivering his 2022 Workers’ Day speech, said his government will continue to prioritize the welfare of Edo workers, equipping them with the capacity and environment to deliver efficient and quality service to the people.
“As we all know, the minimum 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,” he said.
“The government of Edo has now decided to review the minimum 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 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.”
While reassuring his government’s relentless support to senior citizens in the state, Obaseki lamented the hardship experienced by pensioners and other senior citizens because of the rising cost of food and other items.
“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 although these pensions were held 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 harmonized 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 added.
Obaseki 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), Mr. Odion Olaye, charged the Federal Government to step up efforts to tackle the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, and hunger in the country.