Economic Crunch May Affect New Minimum Wage, Says Odigie-Oyegun


*’Merger of MDAs delaying board appointments’

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said that the dire economic situation which the country is presently grappling with will no doubt be a determining factor in the clamour for an increase in wages by the labour movement.

He also said that any demand for a new minimum wage should be in line with the abilities of the Federal and state governments to pay, adding that they will seek to meet with reasonable demands of workers for improved conditions of service.

Oyegun, who spoke to journalists in his office at the national secretariat of the APC, used the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Oba of Benin, His Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, describing him “as a consummate manager of men” during his days at the federal civl service, where he made his mark

Speaking on the party’s position on the demand by the labour union for an increment in the minimum wage, Oyegun cautioned that any such considerations must be based on the economic realities on ground and the ability of government to pay.

“It is a matter for the Executive, it is a matter for the Economy and the Executive at Federal and State Levels who will have to consider the demand in line with their abilities to pay and of course in line with reasonable demands of workers for improved conditions of service. This wages increments must be based with the Economic realities on ground, that’s, the ability to pay.

“It shouldn’t be a Federal matter, state should be allowed to make their decisions based on their abilities to pay. The cost of living are not the same in every part of the country. One state has made a decision and this will tell other states to talk to their workers and let them see their ability to pay and then decide accordingly. The Federal government should decide based on the reality on ground and make a decision too,” he said.

On the delay in the Federal board appointments by the APC government, the ruling party chairman, blamed it on the fall-out of merger of ministries which was intended to save scarce resources.