Minimum wage: We’ll continue to put workers’ welfare on first line charge — Makinde

The Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has declared the readiness of his administration to continue to place workers’ welfare on the first line charge.
Governor Makinde, who spoke a few hours after the Government and organized labour reached an agreement on the N30,000 minimum wage and the consequential adjustment for workers in the state, said every worker deserves his wages.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that his administration would continue to look at ways of improving the quality of life of workers in the state.
The governor expressed delight that the negotiating team was able to arrive at conclusions with the workers in an atmosphere devoid of rancour.
He added that his administration would not take the issue of minimum wage in isolation.
According to him, the government would take a holistic view towards ensuring better life for all.
Makinde said: “Well, I am pleased that they engaged the assignment as a team. It was not we against them and there was also a lot of give and take in there. At least, in Oyo State now, the issue of minimum wage and consequential adjustment have been resolved.
“I thank the team because there has been a lot of expectations from the people and the workers. In my speech a few weeks back, at the inter-religious prayer session for the year, I said we would get alignment and get to pay the minimum wage but the element of affordability, sustainability and also being able to agree on it were three elements present. And now, we will move to the implementation stage.
“What we have done is, members of this team that have been able to reach this agreement for us, we will constitute them into a standing committee. For us, as we notice improvements in the economy of the state, we also want to put value here for the people.
“And I also explained to them that we won’t make minimum wage and the consequential adjustment in isolation. We have to look at the overall quality of life here. If you are earning N30,000 here in Ibadan, what’s the purchasing value compared to Osun, Ondo, Lagos States? We need to also check what we are doing as far as the major pillars of this administration are concerned.
“In education, are they able to get qualitative ones for their children without paying any fee? Are they able to go to hospital and get attended to? Are they feeling secure in this environment? So, all of those things will add to the value that is being derived from people’s earning.”
Speaking on why he has been able to earn the trust of organized labour, the governor noted that he had always felt empathy towards the workers because his mother used to be one of them.
Makinde said: “My mother also used to be one of them. She is 80 now and going to 81. She worked at the Secretariat. I hawked bread to assist the family. So, I can feel what some of them are going through. Even, the Holy Book records it that workers deserve their wages and we have not done anything outside of that. We will ensure that they remain the first line charge before we do anything. For me, when the tide is up, all the bolts will rise.”