Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state says it is offensive for his fellow governors to entertain the thought of reducing workers’ minimum wage from N10,000 to N18,000.
Oshiomhole said state governors should rather tax the rich, instead of exploiting the average workers, who are barely scraping by.
While speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday, after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor said his colleagues must seek to solve the problems causing the shortage of funds, rather than cut minimum wage.
“With due respect to my colleagues, it is offensive to talk about minimum wage. How can the food of the steward be the reason that the elders cannot eat? I mean by conventional wisdom. If there is crisis in the system, it is the excess fat that will shade fats not the skeletons. The idea of using minimum is very offensive.
“The problem with Nigeria is that each time we confront a serious economic problem, we look at the escape route option. Those are not the hearts of the challenges, we must go to the heart of challenges, we must revisit issues.
I also think it is simplistic to believe that one drug will cure all the ailments in the various states. Every state has to take its own independent evaluation of the nature of its own problems and design appropriate policy instruments to deal with those problems as they relate to each state.”
“The problem in one state is not the same with the one in Edo State. Everybody will have to deal with its own. Lastly, I also think that if anybody wants to talk about federalism, let’s not talk about federalism where it affects the wages of the lowest paid.
“I have asked this question, why should Edo state governor receive the same salary as the governor of Lagos State when the population of Lagos State is doubled that of Edo state and their GDP is much higher?
Why should I receive the same pay as the governor of Zamfara or Akwa Ibom, these states are richer by accident of location. If we want to preach this principle, we are in a federal system, everybody should pay according to his cost of living. The cost of governing Edo State is not the same cost as governing Lagos State.”