N18, 000 MIMIMUM WAGE ACT NOT CONVENIENT -OSHIOMHOLE
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole on Tuesday said the N18,000 National Minimum Wage Act signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in March, 2011, as the new monthly salary for workers as against the old N5,500 is not a convenient law owing to the challenges it posed to state governments across the Federation.
He was, however, quick to say that while some state governors had resolved to go ahead with the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage, others were still holding talks with the organized labour and expressed the hope that 'water will find its level' at the end of the day.
The governor, who said this when he paid a courtesy visit on the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu in his office in Abuja, stated that governors, as responsible leaders must ensure at all times that the welfare of their people was put first in terms of difficulties. He commended the minister for the way and manner he handled the controversy that engulfed the implementation of the new wage with the organized labour. He also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for resolving the issues raised by organised labour amicably.
On when the states will commence the implementation, Oshiomole said, 'I believe gradually, one after the other they will find a way to implement it; it is a law and when it is a law, the law cannot always be convenient but we are all obliged to obey the law.
'So, I believe that at the end of the day, every state will find a way to pay. It does not need discretion; we have to obey the law, we must lead by example.
'But I also know that there are some states with some difficulties but that is what leadership is about, we will find ways to go round challenges and find solutions. At least, the way the Federal Government has resolved it, lays a foundation for the rest of us to emulate. I think it would be resolved.'
On why he has not been visible in the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) as he was during the negotiations between the Federal Government and organised labour, he said 'you do not attend the governors' forum so you cannot say what happens inside the forum but the important thing is that as we are talking, as we are here, governors are talking to unions in different states and they are finding solutions.
'No matter what you do, there will be some tension, some little agitations but eventually, there is one thing that unites all of us, it is what is good for the people and you know that at the heart of governance is public welfare and so, the issue of wages falls within that.
'Governors are already finding solutions, many have resolved and others are talking and I know the unions too are responsible, they are reasonable, they appreciate constraints but they also face some challenges. We will put everything on the table and water will find its level.'
Responding, the minister commended Oshiomhole for his role in the last negotiations, saying that government and labour would sign the agreements reached over the implementation of the new wage .