The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended Gov. Adams Oshiomhole for raising the minimum wage for Edo State workers to N25,000.
NLC president Ayuba Wabba gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NLC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
NAN recalls that Oshiomhole announced the wage increase on Workers’ Day.
“He has demonstrated that it is about priorities; he has actually shown that if there is a will, these governors can actually find the resources to implement the minimum wage.
“To us, that is a demonstration of good faith; even before we negotiate and agree on a figure, he has already made an offer.
“Therefore, that should be the starting point to try to negotiate; so I think it is a good effort and it is also done to make the point very clear that states can also try to look at that.
The NLC president, however, said that Oshiomhole’s example should not be seen as a benchmark for negotiation recalling that some governors were paying N20,000 when the N18,000 minimum wage was negotiated.
“You can pay above but not below; that is what the law says and that is why it is minimum wage which is the benchmark.”
Wabba said he saw nothing wrong in Oshiomhole’s action which is coming in the twilight of his eight-year administration, describing it as an action taken in good faith and not intended to create problems for his successor.
“He is not trying to create any problem for his successor; even before now, I am aware the governor had increased the salary of health workers by five per cent and he has been paying.
“I also know as a matter of fact that he released N2 billion to pay the gratuity of workers and all of these are facts and how many people have been able to do that.
The NLC president noted that in some states, for the past 10 years, gratuity had not been paid to workers.
“So,I think it is a demonstration of goodwill and also the fact that some of these things are doable, if our governors are ready to do what is right,” Wabba said.