Edo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has castigated the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over the May Day increase in the minimum wage for civil servants in the state from N18,000 to N25,000.
The state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who stated this in a press statement in Benin, said described the wage increase as a mere Greek gift and politics taken too far.
Orbih who described the increment as hasty and betrayal of trust on the part of the Edo State government, accused Governor Oshiomhole of announcing the increment at a time the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was negotiating a N56,000 minimum wage for civil servants.
He said everybody in Edo State knows that the real challenge in the state civil service was about recruiting employable youths into the service and not about deceiving the people with unrealistic wage increase.
Orbih said while the number of political appointees of the governor has continued to increase on daily basis, that of civil servants has continually dwindled owing to death of workers and retirement of existing workers without replacing them, aadding that the salary increase was too little too late.
He said, “this is a Greek gift to Edo workers considering the fact that the governor has continually neglected workers’ welfare and treated them with disdain before now. Who does not know the motive behind this fake gesture that is coming at a time every state in the federation is facing economic recession?
“As at the time of the windfall, he (Oshiomhole) didn’t pay workers for many months. Right now, local government workers are being owed over six months salary. Retirees’ pensions. and entitlements are also not being paid under Oshiomhole’s watch.
“We are beginning to see Oshiomhole as a slave driver going by his policy on workers’ welfare.
Here is a governor who has never recruited workers into the civil service since he became governor, but is now talking about salary increase in the twilight of his administration.
“We challenge the governor to pay outstanding salary arrears, pensions and other entitlements of workers rather than talk about a N25,000 minimum wage. We challenge him to free the local governments from the bondage he has put them.”