Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed the readiness of his administration to pay more than the N30,000 benchmark for the National Minimum Wage.
Sanwo-Olu who made this known on Tuesday during a meeting with Organised Labour Unions at the State House in Alausa, Ikeja said the payment of the new minimum wage would kick-off immediately the Federal Government and NLC/TUC conclude their negotiations.
The governor said his administration acknowledged the day-by-day challenges of workers in the State which according to him, informed the decision by his administration to pay more than the N30,000 minimum wage benchmark.
He said: “As a government, we take the issue of minimum wage very seriously. We know how important and germane it is to the wellbeing of our people. We are technically ready to implement the new minimum wage.
I made commitment during my previous interactions with the labour unions before my assumption of office and I am still keeping to the promise made.
However little it is, we will certainly pay more than N30,000 minimum wage.
“We understand the position Lagos occupies and we understand the challenges workers are facing in Lagos. If other states can raise up to that amount, I believe Lagos needs to show a bit more to appreciate workers’ contribution to the growth of our State.”
Reacting to the governor’s kind gesture, Baale, Otumara community, Apapa road and its environs, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye commends the insight of Governor Sanwo-Olu into the day-to-day challenges of Lagos state government workers.
According to him, this has shown that the governor and the All Progressives Congress in the State are pro-masses and are sensitive to the plights of Lagos residents.
He said, “Indeed it is a new dawn for Lagos State government workers. I must say, I sincerely appreciate the decision of Governor Sanwo-Olu to pay public workers in the State above the N30, 000 benchmark minimum wages.
There is no denying that poverty is in the land but with what Governor Sanwo-Olu has done by increasing beyond the N30, 000 national minimum wages, purchasing powers of the affected workers will be up slightly.”
High Chief Kalejaiye, however draws the attention of the governor to the deplorable states of Lagos roads which requires urgent repairs.
He argues that for the new pay rise not to be spent on transportation, all the roads in the State must be put in proper shapes.
He said, “The Lagos State government above N30, 000 to its workers will be a kind gesture in futility if the roads are not motorable. As a result of the poor state of Lagos roads, residents pay exorbitant rate on transportation.
Although I have seen rehabilitation works going on in some of the affected roads, I want to appeal to the governor to reconstruct some of the roads that have damaged beyond repair and also address the terrible traffic situations on Lagos roads where productive hours are lost.”
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu has said his administration had started to tackle challenges limiting the workers’ productivity, including massive rehabilitation of critical highways across the state to reduce travel time and diffuse road congestion.