By Lawrence Olaoye
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has called on his counterparts in all the states of the federation to brace up and pay the new N30, 000 minimum wage to workers.
Okowa said that the payment of the new minimum wage was long overdue as the hitherto N18, 000 being paid was not sustainable.
The governor made the appeal yesterday in an interaction with State House correspondents on the sideline of the induction of new and returning governors by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the Presidential Villa.
He disclosed that his government will pay workers the new minimum wage.
“We are actually going to pay the N30, 000; we have made our statement long before the new minimum wage was even approved. I actually believe that its long overdue because N18, 000 is definitely not sustainable.
“But I also do believe as I have told my colleagues and the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC President that this time we must understand what minimum wage is not supposed to be a general salary increment. Those at the bottom of the rung should actually benefit much more than those at the top and it ought to be so,” he said.
On the recent treatment given to little Success Adegor, a school girl in Delta State, when she was sent out of school for not paying school fees, the Governor said “the act was wrong because education is free at that level in Delta State.”
He said that the matter was being investigated and anyone found culpable in the matter would be sanctioned,
He said the state has been doing well in terms of education, “but people were quick to talk about the matter but there were two issues that came out from there.”
“Corruption was there because asking the child not to take exams except fee were paid, was wrong. I know that education at that level is free in Delta State.
“Disciplinary actions are being taken and a lot of persons are obviously going to be caught up in that trap. Because I know that we run a free education up to secondary school level so that was wrong “People were quick to talk about the picture of the school and I told them, we have 1124 public schools; that’s the primary school then we have 465 secondary schools. If you believe that in just three years we can impact on all the structures then it will be magical but I do know that but I do know that the schools in delta have a new face. We have so many of them that have been rehabilitated and have been put in proper shape and we are continuing with that,” the Governor explained.
Okowa said that Delta State was also doing a lot in the health sector, adding that “the primary health care delivery is fully functional across the state.”