FG may not be able to pay workers beyond June – Gov. Obaseki Reveals

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Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, says the federal government may not be able to pay workers’ salaries beyond June without massively printing money or removing petrol subsidy.

TheCable reported that President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022  affirmed that the costly petrol subsidy would end by 2023.

Speaking on Monday at the Workers’ Day celebration in Benin, the capital of Edo, Obaseki said Nigerians, and workers, in particular, would face hardship if the government decides on any of the options.

“It would be a miracle for the federal government and state governments to pay salaries beyond June this year without resorting to massively printing money or removing fuel subsidy.
Either of these decisions will bring more hardship and pain to Nigerians, particularly workers,” he said.

“We must all make sure that the burden and pain of these measures, which must be taken, are not carried by workers alone.

“Workers must now rise and ensure that they champion any discussion on subsidy removal. You must shift from the tradition of reacting when these policies have been made but insist that you take charge and ensure full transparency and disclosure.

If we are all undertaking a reform, then the benefits and pains that will come out of the reforms must be mutually shared by all Nigerians, not just the downtrodden.”

Obaseki said when the Edo state government announced the increment of the minimum wage to N40,000 in 2022, he expected the federal government and other state governments to follow suit immediately.

“My promise to Edo workers here today is that the day the federal government is able to pay its new minimum wage and hand over a cheque to any federal worker, that day, we will match the federal government and do the same for state workers,” he said.

“As your governor, I will ensure that workers are fairly treated so that your take-home pay can really take you home. Our government has kept faith with prompt and regular payment of staff salaries and retirees’ benefits in the State in the last six years.

“As a tradition, salaries are paid latest on the 26th day of every month and for any holiday celebrations, our workers are paid before the celebration so that they have money to celebrate.”

TheCable had reported that Nigeria spent N2.04 trillion to offset subsidy payments in seven months, even as it plans to spend about N6 trillion on subsidy in 2023.


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