The Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has increased the state workers’ minimum wage from the N30,000 approved by the federal government to N40,000.
Obaseki’s announcement came on Sunday, as 2012 pensioners protested the non-payment of their gratuities during the 2022 Workers’ Day celebration in the state.
He said, “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.
“The government of Edo have 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.”
Obaseki said that as a government, they are prepared to make the sacrifices, so that the workers can live a better life, saying the little adjustment would cushion the impact of the inflation.
Speaking about the pensioners, he said his administration took interest in payments of outstanding pensions to them despite the fact that the pensions were held by the previous administration.
“In view of the prevailing economic circumstances, I have now approved effective this May that the agreement we have reached with the Union of Pensioners that the harmonized amount would be paid from May 2022.”
He said to avoid such cases of pensioners being owed, his administration has keyed into the contributory pension scheme just as he said his administration has paid all pension arrears and would commence the next stage soon.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Odion Olaye, called on the federal government to address insecurity, instability in the economy, unemployment and hunger in the nation.
He lamented that the state-owned institutions are in a state of abandonment and that the 65 and 35 per cent government subvention policy has strangulated them financially and academically.
Meanwhile, some pensioners who retired in 2012 staged a protest over the non-payment of their gratuities during the celebration.
The pensioners clad in black attires carried placards, appealing to Obaseki to rescue them by paying them their gratuities.
One of the pensioners, who spoke to journalists, Irene Aiguobarueghian, said since their retirement, they have only been getting their monthly payment but have yet to get their gratuity.