Workers express dissatisfaction at Otu’s N40,000 minimum wage pronouncement 

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Some workers in Cross River have expressed disappointment at Gov. Bassey Otu’s announcement pegging the new minimum wage for workers in the state at N40,000.

The workers shared their displeasure in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.

It will be recalled that Otu, while addressing workers on Wednesday, said that the state government would pay N40,000 as the new minimum wage to its workers.

The governor had listed lean allocation from the centre and unfavourable Gross Domestic Product to debt servicing ratio as some of the reasons for the decision.

Otu said that the state government would rely on the realities of the time in making decisions towards the implementation of the new minimum wage.

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Speaking to NAN, Mr Emmanuel Ekanem, a civil servant in the state, described the N40,000 announced by the governor as ‘far below’ the expectations of workers.

He said that such proouncement did not showcase the governor as a leader who understood the yearnings of his people.

”At a time when a bag of rice is sold between N70,000 and N80,000, declaring N40,000 as minimum wage is terribly poor and unacceptable,” he said.

Mrs Isu Ewe, a judiciary staff, said she was disappointed at the pronouncement, and urged the governor to take another look at the decision.

”I expected hear at least N60,000 as the new minimum wage for the workers in the state. The hardship is too much.

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”What can N40,000 but? Workers have school fees to pay, parents to take care of and rent to pay.

”The governor should really look at the situation of things in the country and do something about the take-home of workers,” she said.

Another civil servant, Mr Edem Enoh said that workers did not expect such pronouncement from the governor, describing it as hasty.

He urged the state government to avoid over-dependence on federal allocation, look inwards and devise others sources of income.

”The welfare of the people should be top on the government’s priority list. This pronouncement is hasty and unacceptable,” he said.

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