• en

Osisioma: Anambra Is Not Owing Workers One Naira

The minimum wage is being implemented in Anambra. There’s no worker that has not been receiving salaries, says Godwin Osisioma.

Following the NLC’s head of department of information, Benson Upah’s claim that Anambra state is the worst payer of minimum wage, Godwin Osisioma, former anambra state chairman of the NLC, joined ARISE NEWS in an interview on Wednesday, where he refuted the claim, stating firmly that “Anambra state is not owing the workers one naira”.

He asserted, “Anambra state is not owing the workers one naira and the workers are being paid. Even when the governor came, he increased the salary by 10 percent.”

Osisioma mentioned that during the tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), state governments were encouraged to pay wages within their financial capacities. Anambra State adhered to this approach, paying salaries based on available resources. However, the enactment of the national minimum wage law mandating a 30,000 naira minimum wage for all workers introduced a new standard.

He said, “Within the period of the leadership of Oshiomole as the president of NLC, minimum wages were being sent to states to pay within the capacity of the resources of the state and within that period, Anambra state was paying within the resources they were able to pay within that period. Recently, there is a law in the minimum wage of 30,000 naira per worker. That particular minimum wage became a constituted law that every government must implement. It was at that point that Anambra state started to implement what others are implementing. One can say that the salary take home package of a worker in the state may be lower than that of other states, but I’ve already clarified why it is so. But presently, it is a law. Every reasonable government must have to pay because it is a law.”

He added that the law necessitating all states, including Anambra, to adjust their wage to 30,000 naira was adhered to, even when governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration came into power.

“The issue of minimum wage came before the arrival of the governor professor Soludo and the labour force negotiated with the government. The matter came up and the government of the day approved that they should sit with the government, the labour should sit with the government to discuss on the issue. And they arrived and had an agreement for the payment of the package and the government at that moment approved for the payment of the minimum wage and its consequential adjustment. Many of us were there. The chairmen of NLC and other industrial unions were there. Once the agreement was signed, the governor gave a directive that it should be implemented fully and everybody was happy and we shared greetings to ourselves. We didn’t even waste much of our time in such negotiation because it was a directive. When the present administration came on board, he began to implement what he met. My governor Soludo was so surprised to hear that he is not paying the minimum wage.

He however also said, “I am not saying that Anambra state is collecting fully, but I am saying that the minimum wage has been approved and is being implemented. What is being paid now, after my inquiry, is that the take home is 24,000 instead of 30,000 naira. There is no worker in my own view that has not been receiving the salaries, even the water corporation that was owed 17 years before the arrival of Soludo, Soludo has cleared the whole money and paid off water corporation workers in the state.”

Melissa Enoch

Follow us on: