Anambra owes workers due to penchant for law-breaking, irresponsibility, not lack of funds – Comrade Upah


Benson Upah says Anambra State is one of the worst wage payers and its government disregards workers.

Benson Upah, Head of Department of Information, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has asserted that States like Anambra and Zamfara who owe workers salaries are unable to pay not due to lack of funds but due to their lack of responsibility and penchant for breaking the law.

Upah in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, labelled Anambra state one of the worst wage paying states with a government that has no regard for its workers and the general dignity of labour.

“There are some states that are still owing salaries, among them include Anambra and Zamfara and I want to tell you that they did not pay not due to paucity of funds but they refused to pay because of their penchant for breaking the law and it was also an act of irresponsibility.

“Anambra State is one of the worst, if not the worst wage Payer. I keep saying this, the national minimum wage is not synonymous with the pay packages and structures adopted by the state. Each state pays according to their capacity and pay structure. In Benue state, a chief, that is a level 14 officer, earns more than a level 16 officer in Anambra state and I hope the governor is watching and listening. I await anybody to say what I am saying is a lie.

“Anambra does not value its workers; it does not value dignity of labour. It has been an act of disdain for workers. It is one of the states that is observing this law in breach. Anambra workers are owed many months’ salaries. Even beyond the issue of minimum wage, the governor has no respect for the quality of workforce he has.”

Upah also addressed the broader economic challenges, stating that even the hundred-thousand-naira minimum wage proposed by the federal government is unrealistic and unacceptable due to the current economic climate.

He referenced the rising costs of staple foods like rice and the soaring inflation rate, which has climbed from 11.40% to 33.7%.

“On the issue of a hundred thousand, I would say it is unrealistic and unacceptable and the figures speak for themselves. How much is a bag of rice? That speaks to the matter. Rice is one of our staple foods here in the country but that is not all. The figures are manifestly clear. At the time we did thirty thousand, the inflation rate was 11.40%. At the moment, inflation is 33.7% and climbing. The exchange rate and given the fact that we are an import dependent economy, the exchange rate is one thousand, six hundred naira to a dollar and climbing. There is a lot of instability in our economy as it is. But also take note of the fact that at the time we made a demand of #615,000, the government has not jacked up the tariffs.

Upah further argued for the minimum wage of ₦615,000, calling it a modest and well-thought-out figure given the economic circumstances.

He urged the government to take necessary actions, pointing out the significant increase in energy tariffs and the resulting cost pressures on manufacturers.

“Government has since jacked up the energy tariff by 250%. Those who are going to pay that 250%, I can assure you, they will pass on the cost to the prices of their products and services. I am sure you must have read in the papers about the complaints of the manufacturers association. Their warehouses are full because there is no longer capacity to buy and then secondly, prices are getting higher and what that means is that a hundred thousand will go to no issue. I believe that #615,000 is modest enough and well thought out and the government should do the needful.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: