35b52f50 oyo map
oyo state

Minimum Wage In Oyo State, Before You Start Hauling The Bricks.

Nigerians amaze me seriously. They want to eat their cake and still want to have it. Sometimes, they expect their leaders to wring water out of stone and make wine out of water which remains in the realm of illusion for mortals because the last time I checked, only Jesus did that.

Or how do you explain the reactions of people to the Governors candid statement that Oyo state could not pay 30,000 minimum wage? This is a state that was struggling to pay 18000 minimum wage and you now expect the new governor to pay 30,000 minimum wage without any appreciable increase in allocation from Abuja.

Seyi Makinde
Seyi Makinde

Crude oil exportation business, Nigeria main stay, is crumbling,  we do not have cocoa to export any wore while groundnut pyramid had disappeared, we spent billions to fight insurgency and terrorists, we complain the borrowing is getting on the high side , yet we want 68% salary increase across board to be a walk in the pack?  No, it doesn’t work out like that.

There will be plenty of labour brouhaha. All those governors promising to pay the minimum wage were just being clever with the truth. Even Ajimobi who was struggling with 18000 said Oyo state would pay. It’s all politick and political shenanigans.

When Akala lost to Ajimobi in 2011, he said something like he was full of pity for Ajimobi, because he didn’t know where he was going to get the fund to run the government from . How prophetic? That was 2011 and we are 8 years down the line with no noticeable increase in GDP. If you asked Ajimobi today, he would tell you how hard it had been for him to govern Oyo state in the last 4 years.

The incoming governor says Oyo state cannot afford 30,000 minimum wage and he would have to meet with Labour. This is being overly optimistic and diplomatic at the same time.

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage

If he sees the financials, he would probably have said that 30000 is not even on the table. I know, because there was no way Ajimobi, could have paid salaries and accomplished so much in infrastructure without some borrowing. At18000 minimum, monthly wages in Oyo state is more than the monthly allocation from Abuja, so you can understand the financial crisis the state will face when forced to pay 30,000.

Is the governor right or wrong in his assertion? I think the guy is right and I especially enjoyed the way he brought restructuring agenda into his answer. You would think he is Afenifere spokes-man and something tells me, we may be in for 4 years of intelligent governance in Oyo state.

I quote the incoming governor

“It (minimum wage) has been signed into law. I personally believe that individual states should have been allowed to negotiate this because conditions of living in Lagos are obviously not the same as living in Ibadan.

“And I will definitely say without fear or favour that it’s part of the reasons why we are thinking of restructuring. That’s a federal system of government.

“We have a federation but the state governments I believe, are no subordinate to the federal government. They are coordinate governments.

“Then, when the federal government makes a law that says ‘well, we are going to pay 30,000 as minimum wage,’ what’s the condition in my state? Can we support it? I don’t think”

Is it not true that each state should be left to handle her negotiations? Is it also not true that states are different from one another? Can any state in the federation compare herself with Lagos in IGR? Is it a lie that while Rivers or Cross River has a few thousand civil servants, Oyo state carries them in several thousand?                 .

I remember vividly during the negotiation with NLC, the federal government said each state should handle her own negotiation but later bulked under NLC intimidation for political exigency as the election was getting nearer.

The NLC itself tactically chose that period to negotiate so as to be able to bend the hands of the FG. Now they have gotten what they wanted, the 30000 had been approved; it’s now left to see how easy its implementation will be across the country.

The governor said we run a federal government, (if only on paper), so the FG has no right to lord it on any state on salary matters. The states and FG are coordinate governments and no one is subordinate to the other. He is point on here.Image result for oyo state

Were this country restructured as we had in the first republic, no federal government will tell Oyo state what to pay his workers. During Awolowo’s time, Western Region was paying more than any government in the federation even as he ran free education.

Now a whopping 160 billon had been approved by the federal legislators for FG to pay the minimum wage for federal workers without anybody bothering about the states. So where will the states get fund from?

Let nobody tell me about IGR, because there is little to talk about in Oyo state IGR. Where are the companies? Where are the establishments? We only have churches and mosques here. Our economy is ‘tomato and alubosa’ economy.

You can count the companies on your finger tips—NBL, Coca Cola, Fan Ice, Summer, and a couple of others. Most of the companies along Magazine/Eleyele axis including publishers have since gone moribund.

As things are now, there are more industries in Ikeja than those in Oyo, Osun and Ekiti combined together. So where is the IGR here? Will the governor now start to tax the tomato and alubosa sellers and the churches? Past government put the yolk on schools, but we should remember the donkey will carry so much, but not more.

Some ask if the government cannot pay 30,000 minimum wage where do they get money to pay the politicians? Good, I tell them politicians’ salary and emoluments are government approved by Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission and deducted from source. So this does not change the situation that there is not much left for the civil servants. Yes, I agree and it is obvious that the politicians are overpaid and this is where I think we should direct our anger, but unfortunately we are in a country where we set the cart before the horse.

The truth is we are in for real labour wars not only in Oyo state but all over Nigeria. Many of those states asserting their readiness to pay are only setting their castles in the air.

It’s easier said than done and I think it is also simple logic. If a state struggled to pay 18000, one like Kogi owes 38 months and without any appreciable increase in allocation from Abuja, you expect such state to pay 30,000, you must be living in a fool’s paradise.

Grapevine has it that Gov. Ajimobi has signed agreement with Labour to pay 30,000 minimum wage, but I refuted it. If this is true, it is as absurd as it is morally bankrupt. You struggled with 18,000 and now signing agreement to pay 30,000 with few days left to go.

Labour too should not fool themselves. Such agreement will be building something on nothing and it will not stand. Where is integrity, where is morality. If such agreement exists, it is dead on arrival. New governor will simply refuse to pay or result to Osun formula–about 60% to junior category and about 40% for senior staff.

ajimobi 1
ajimobi 1

Seyi Makinde has spoken the truth but truth is bitter. I would rather stay with a frank governor than one giving me false promises. The fund is just not there. So think twice before you haul the bricks. This is not his fault, it is the reality.

The young man should be allowed to start his tenure free of a war he did not create.

Click Here for the book that has helped many to affluence.