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Minimum wage: ‘Hold your governors accountable for failing to pay’ – Ex-Presidential spokesman

 

Chief Joseph Onoh, Spokesman of President Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation (South-East) during the 2023 Presidential Election, has urged South-East residents to hold their governors accountable for failing to pay the proposed N62,000 minimum wage.

Onoh, who said he was mandated by the Presidency to speak to stakeholders in the South-East especially the media on some issues, disclosed this to newsmen in a press conference on Tuesday in Enugu.

He called on civil servants from the South-East to impress on their governors to pay the proposed N62,000 minimum wage.

It would be recalled that most states in the Federation, especially those within the South-East, are saying that they would only be able to pay an average of N40,000 as minimum wage.

According to Onoh, the various state governments have been empowered as well as devised more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) means to pay and they should not push it to the Federal Government.

He said: “As it stands, the Federal Government is only worried about the private sector, not just that they can pay the proposed N62,000 minimum wage but how they can sustain the payment. However, the Federal Government is considering this.

“But for the states, they have all the capacity and capability to pay and not default.

“In recent months; the states’ monthly Federal allocation had increased three fold and with huge money coming to the state monthly.

“While, you will agree with me that most states have increased their IGR geometrically by engaging in massive taxations and levies.

“They should pay and not push the blame or their inadequacies to the Federal Government.”

Onoh, a former lawmaker in Enugu State House of Assembly, noted that in particular the South-East “has the capacity to pay and the governors should not deny that”.

He appealed to the governors of the South-East to rally round and come out with ways to pay the proposed wage as well as set a uniform standard payment within the zone.

“These back and forth being put up by the governors, especially those of the South-East, will never benefit the zone and entire country,” he said.

The spokesman commended the organized labour for not embarking on another round of strike, adding that “strike is a huge loss to everyone; both individuals, companies, corporate organizations and government”.

Onoh, who was a former Chairman of Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority, noted that the South-East governors and leaders had been lagging behind in tapping in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

He specifically said that the zone had not tapped optimally from the transport and agriculture policies and programmes of Tinubu administration as it should.

He said: “Today, the policy of having low interest loans for entrepreneur in the transport business, which the South-East is known for, is there.

“The Federal Government has already ordered 300 CNG buses, which will help to crash the price of transport fare and improve business in that sector.

“The transport companies/entrepreneurs and the South-East governors have not come to take advantage of this Federal Government-Assisted Transport Scheme as there is a well laid down plan to grow the transport sector.

“Current there are lots of agricultural programmes ongoing through the support of the Federal Government. Where are our people and their leaders?”

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