Why I increased minimum wage in Edo State- Adams Oshiomole

At a time when about 27 State Governments cannot afford to pay salaries, the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has explained the reason behind his decision to increase workers' minimum wage in his state.
He said as a former NLC leader, he wanted to prove to his colleagues who were against the upward review of minimum wage that it
could be done, and salaries could be paid promptly.
Oshiomole made his comments while speaking with State House correspondents shortly after meeting the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
At the grand finale of activities to mark the 2016 Workers Day on May 1, Governor Oshiomole had announced the immediate increment of the minimum wage from N18,000 to N25,000 for employees in the state public service.
He also promised prompt payment of outstanding arrears of salaries to the employees of Local Government Councils in the state.
Addressing the journalists, the Governor said he was not on the same page with his colleagues who are holding the view that salaries should be reduced.
In his words: "I have increased the minimum wage when my colleagues are debating that it is too high and I insisted that it is too small.
"I decided to increase it to show that not only that it is too small but it is possible to increase it and pay it.
"We are not in arrears of one month salary in Edo State. We are up to date for all those who are in direct employment in the State Government, including teachers at all levels."
Oshiomhole also said that due to their pivotal nation-building role, his administration has decided to treat teachers as the most important workers in Nigeria.
He said his position was that if the state could not deliver on public health or infrastructure, it should not fail to deliver on education, because the world is knowledge-driven and is increasingly digitalised.
"Only nations with educated citizens can cope with the rigours of competition in a digitalised world and we are giving primary attention to that.
"We have invested in building very attractive primary schools. Across all the South-South states, Edo State has the least out-of-school population which is about six per cent, better than all our oil-rich neighbours.
"If you are following the campaigns, we have been able to tell Edo people the number of schools we have built across the state, for which they are witnesses.
"We have also told them the number of roads and communities connected with water and the five-star hospital we built in the centre of Benin City," Oshiomole said.
As the gubernatorial election approaches, the Governor also took jabs at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying, "The Peoples Democratic Party is simply intimidated. And to make things worse, we have produced a Minister of Works twice, a Minister of Education, a Minister of Defence; and yet, when you look at the federal roads in the state, although we produced Ministers of works, but they never work.
"These are things the people know about and now it is election season, they are in trouble; they cannot say this is what they have done."

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