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Workers Day: FG Must Massively Print Money to Pay Salaries After June 2023 – Obaseki

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Mr Obaseki has been right all the times he has correctly predicted the economic health of the country.

…Challenges labour unions to lead discussions on subsidy removal.

By Henry Oqua

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has urged labour unions in Nigeria to take the lead in discussions on the removal of petrol subsidies. Speaking at May Day Parade held in the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Monday, May 1, 2023, Mr Obaseki reiterated his commitment to workers’ welfare and upskilling. He challenged the Federal Government to prioritise the welfare of workers, saying that it was sad that after one year, the FG has failed to match the N40, 000 minimum wage increase implemented in Edo on May 1, 2022.

“The economy of our country is in a terrible state. It will be a miracle for the Federal and State Governments to pay salaries beyond June this year without resorting to massively printing money, or removing subsidies. Either of these decisions will bring hardships to us as a people, particularly to you the workers. Therefore, we must all make sure that the burden and pain of these measures which must be taken are not borne by workers alone,” he said.

Mr Obaseki urged workers to be proactive and ensure that they champion discussions on subsidy removal, saying that they must shift from the tradition of reacting when these policies have been made and now insist that they take charge so that there is full transparency and disclosure.

He saluted the dedication and sacrifice of Edo workers which has led to the growth and development of the state, particularly in the last 6 years, despite the challenges suffered as a result of a poorly managed Federal Government.

“Our workers are the unsung heroes of our society and the engine that powers our economy. This is why in Edo State we continue to prioritise your welfare and invest in projects and reforms to boost your morale and productivity so that we can provide the right incentives and enabling environment to deliver quality service to Edo People,” he said.

The Labour Unions represented by the Edo State chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trades Union Congress (TUC) Chairmen commended the prompt payment of salaries, the state’s dedication of 200m naira monthly for gratuities, the clearing of pension arrears of Local Government pensioners, the upward review of Teacher’s retirement age to 65 years and service years to 40, payment of hazard allowance and 40,000 Naira minimum wage, prompt promotions, investment in infrastructure, revamping the School of Nursing, training of secretariat assistants to become data processors, reversal of the sack of Edo State Sports Commission, Edo Security Network ensuring safety of citizens and their properties, the Edo Health Insurance Scheme, world-class working environment for workers, training and retraining of workers, the standardisation of technical colleges, and wealth creation of the Obaseki administration.

Mr Obaseki promised to match any figure the Federal Government writes to its workers on the promise of another upward review of the minimum wage. “I want to assure you that as your Governor, I will continue to ensure that workers are fairly treated so that your take-home pay can really take you home,” he said.

He added that his government has kept faith with prompt and regular payment of staff salaries and pensions for the last six years. “As a tradition, salaries must be paid latest on the 26th of every month and if there are holidays, you make sure that you pay workers before those ceremonies so that they have enough money to celebrate. I want to let you know that we currently do not owe any arrears of promotion in Edo State because I have approved all 2022 promotions of staff which I believe has boosted the morale of workers in Edo State,” he said.

The Governor was accompanied to the parade by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon Comrade Philip Shuaibu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Markus Onobu, Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Chief Judge, and other top government officials.

Nigeria has been facing economic challenges, including inflation and a declining value of the national currency, which has resulted in a decrease in the purchasing power of the average Nigerian. Mr Obaseki has been spot on in his previous predictions on the economic health of the country.

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