Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has described the current N18,000 minimum wage paid to Nigerian workers as not longer reasonable as a result of the free fall of Naira against the US Dollar.
Oshiomhole said that N200 to one US Dollar means Nigerian workers are earning just meager income of $90 per month at the current N18,000 minimum wage, The Union reports.
He decries the poor salaries paid to the Nigerian workers noting that the situation is even worse at the level of public service. Oshiomhole made this remark while speaking with State House Correspondents yesterday July 11 shortly after meeting with President Muhamnadu Buhari. He did not however disclose the ideal minimum wage.
Oshiomhole said: “Let me be very clear, I believe the Nigerian worker is underpaid, particularly in the public sector. If you look at the wage trend now, you will find out that that a graduate earns Lever 8 Step 2 in the public service. If the same young man is to get a job in an oil company or some subsection of the public section, his pay will be much more.
“If a worker is confronted with endless rise in costs of living and his wages are stagnant, obviously whether you know it or not, he is already experiencing pressures on his living standard. If you look at the minimum wage when it was fixed, the exchange rate was about N140 to a dollar, so N18,000 is about $130 a month.
“ Now at N200 per dollar, N18,000 is about $90 and so you can see the only beneficiary in this kind of inflationary environment are those who have fixed assets like building. Because the more your Naira is devalued, the higher the nominal value of your assets.”
He said the recent bailout to states came at the right time pointing out that the immediate past administration shortchanged states as much as N10billion. He declared that the funds was sourced from the amount remitted by the Nigerian Liqueified Natural Gas, NLNG, but that the funds have never been remitted to the Federation Account.
“What was extraordinary is that the NLNG has over the years been remitting funds to the Federal Government. But the Federal Government illegally refused to transfer these fund to the consolidated revenue fund which belongs to the three tiers of government.
“All that President Buhari has done is in line with his commitments to ensuring that all funds and monies accruing to the Federation Account are so remitted, that he has directed the CBN to transfer the funds to the Consolidated Funds,” he said.