The governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the payment of N18,000 minimum wage should not be a burden to any state governor, adding that it is offensive that governors are attempting to renege on the said amount.
The governor, while speaking with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, said that welfare of the people should be the main business and concern of the leaders.
He said: “With due respect to my colleagues, it is offensive to talk about minimum wage. How can the food of the steward be the reason that the elders cannot eat. I mean by conventional wisdom. If there is crisis in the system, it’s the excess fat that will share fats not the skeletons. The idea of using minimum is very offensive.”
He lamented that the problem with Nigeria is that each time the country is confronted with a serious economic problem, the leaders look at the escape route option.
He therefore advised that every state take its own independent evaluation of the nature of its own problems and design appropriate policy instrument to deal with those problems as they relate to each state.
“The problem in one state is not the same with the one in Edo State. Everybody will have to deal with its own. Lastly I also think that if anybody wants to talk about federalism, lets not talk about federalism where it affects the wages of the lowest paid.
“I have asked this question why should Edo State governor receive the same salary as the governor of Lagos State when the population of Lagos State is doubled that of Edo state and their GDP is much higher. Why should I receive the same pay as the governor of Zamfara state or Akwa Ibom, these states are richer by accident of location.
“If we want to preach this principle we are in a federal system, everybody should pay according to his cost of living, the cost of governing Edo state is not the same cost as governing Lagos State. So why should the revenue mobilization fix my pay and that of Lagos State. If we want to run a true federalism, start from the top that is leading by example,” he said.