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Why Edo can afford to pay N70,000 minimum wage – Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki has explained why Edo State can afford to pay its workers the new minimum wage of N70,000.

Obaseki revealed this in a statement on Monday, adding that his administration started making plans for the new minimum wage three years ago.

While speaking in Benin City, the Edo State governor said it was in the year 2021 when the telltale signs began to show that the economy was going in the wrong direction.

“I am able to pay N70,000 because two or three years ago, I raised an alarm that we were resorting to massive borrowings, which will be inflationary in the long run,” he said.

“I predicted that there will be massive devaluation of our currency. You will ask, if you knew this, what did you do?

“We knew it would translate into the demand for higher wages because of inflation and so, we said, look, let’s focus on building a much more efficient economy.

“Let’s focus on reducing our cost of governance. Let’s focus on training our people and getting more productivity out of them.”

Obaseki explained how his administration achieved their aim of reducing the cost of governance,.

“We have a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where we purchased 5-10 megawatts of power, which we use to run all of government offices and the street lights at night. So, I don’t have to buy diesel,” he stated.

“I have a fleet management service, my own Uber, where I have put my own transport system, our cars, and vehicles into one transport system. So, I’m running the government at a fraction of what I used to run the system in the past.

“The savings I’m making from that, I’m saying, you know what, my most valuable assets are my people, let me pay them more and get more productivity out of them. I am measuring teachers today in terms of learning outcomes.

“My teachers can’t be absent from school because I can see all that from my tablet, whether a teacher is in class or not.

“I can relate my drug programme, what I pay for medicines to what’s been dispensed in my primary healthcare centers because I’ve trained my people. I have invested in technology. We have hugely invested in technology infrastructure.”

Author

  • Oluyemi Ogunseyin

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