July 3, 2023

Street sweepers in Edo protest low pay, demand increment

Street sweepers in Edo protest low pay, demand increment

By Ozioruva Aliu, BENIN CITY

SWEEPERS in Benin City mostly women on Monday protested what they say is the low emoluments they get on a monthly basis and called on the state government to increase their pay in line with today’s economic realities.

They were dressed in their sweeping clothes and brandished placards that read “We need an increment in our salary, we are tired of N17,820”.

They said they have been on N18,000 when the national minimum wage was N18,000 and their pay was increased to that amount by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration but that since then, they have not enjoyed any pay rise adding that the current administration has reportedly claimed that they were not its staff.

The spokesperson of the protesters, Mrs. Glory Efosa, said “They pay us N18, 000 but when they remove their tax, we will be left with N17,820. We have complained and written several letters calling for an increment.

“We started receiving this amount of money during the time of Governor Adams Oshiomhole up till now.

“If we go to protest, the GM will say we don’t have an employment letter.

“They said Governor Obaseki said he doesn’t know us as his workers but if they want to do anything in Benin, they want to make the city beautiful, they will come to call us.

“We will go and make it clean, on Saturday after finishing our own task, they asked us to go to New Benin and clean it up and we went.

“The GM was present during the cleaning and when we wanted to bring the matter up, we were asked to hold on and that was how we abandoned the matter.

“Now, we are having a president who has removed fuel subsidies and things are now very expensive, that money cannot afford anything.”

While commending the state governor for being the first person to have increased the minimum wage to N40, 000, Efosa said the governor should also extend the same to them so that they can take care of their needs.

Receiving the protesters, the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, Festus Alenkhe said they should endeavour to have a round table discussion with the Waste Management Board and see how their salary can be reviewed.

When contacted, the General Manager of the Edo State Waste Management Board, Charles Imariagbe said the state government is concerned about their plight and that plans are already on to review their salary.