Why I Increased Minimum Wage To N70,000 — Governor Obaseki

Governor Godwin of Edo State said he increased the state’s minimum wage to match the country’s present economic reality.

Obaseki has declared a N70,000 minimum pay, up from the N40,000 paid before by his government in comparison to the N30,000 national minimum wage.

The move sparked debate among Nigerians, but the governor argued it made sense to implement a new minimum salary for state workers given the country’s sinking currency, the naira, and the rising cost of living.

“Let us understand this new minimum wage calculation. In 2011, when the minimum wage was N18,000, the exchange rate was N160/$ and so effectively workers in Edo State were taking home about $120 as minimum wage. When we increased the minimum wage to N40,000 in 2022, the exchange rate at that time was N450/$ so effectively, workers were getting about $96,” he said on Monday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today. 

“Today, 2024, with the N70,000 minimum wage at the current exchange rate of N1,257/$, what they are taking home is $55 which is less than 50 per cent of what they were earning about a year ago.

“For us in Edo State, we believe that the issue is about productivity; paying people well so that they can produce more and not pretending that you are paying them some salary when you know that that salary cannot motivate them to produce the goods and services that you require.”

Since the Federal Government eliminated fuel subsidies, the product’s cost has more than tripled. The floating of the nation’s currency later exacerbated the country’s economic troubles, sending the cost of living skyrocketing.

Inflation has reached 33.20 percent, a 28-year high.

However, to mitigate the effects of the hard economy, Obaseki stated that his government would have to implement a new minimum wage for Edo State workers.

“We are taking measures as a state to mitigate the situation that we found ourselves in today,” Obaseki said.

He said with the digitisation of work in the state, his government has been able to save money which will be plowed back to other areas including the payment of wages.

“So, we don’t spend [so much] money on stationery and all those costs used to run the government,” the governor said, adding that the state has also reduced the cost of energy by looking at alternative sources.

“Those savings, I use them to pay salaries,” he said.

Sayyu Dantata’s MRS Tops $60 Million in Revenue in Q1 2024

NFF Appoints Finidi George As Super Eagles Head Coach