By Gabriel Enogholase

BENIN—PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, Edo State chapter, has described the May Day announcement by the state government of increase in the minimum wage for civil servants in the state from N18,000 to N25,000 as a Greek gift and politics taken too far.

State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, in a statement in Benin yesterday, also described the increment as hasty and a betrayal of trust on the part of the state government.

He accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of announcing the increment at a time the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, was negotiating a N56,000 minimum wage for civil servants.

Orbih insisted that everybody in Edo State knows that the real challenge in the state civil service was about recruiting employable youths into the service and not about deceiving the people with unrealistic wage increase.

The PDP state chairman, who noted that the number of the governor’s political appointees has continued to increase, said the number of civil servants has continually dwindled owing to death and retirement of workers without replacing them, adding that the salary increase was too little, too late.

He said: “This is a Greek gift to Edo workers, considering the fact that the governor has continually neglected workers’ welfare and treated them with disdain before now. Who does not know the motive behind this fake gesture that is coming at a time every state in the federation is facing economic recession?

“We challenge the governor to pay outstanding salary arrears, pensions and other entitlements of workers, rather than talk about a N25,000 minimum wage. We challenge him to free the local governments from the bondage he has put them.”

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