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Governor Soludo reacts to calls for placing political office holders on minimum wage

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Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State says governors and other elected government officials in Nigeria should earn minimum wage to feel the pains of workers in the country.

Mr Soludo spoke on Wednesday at the special edition of The Platform, an event organised by The Covenant Nation to facilitate national development.

The programme was held in Lagos State to mark Nigeria’s 25 years of democratic governance.

A text of the governor’s speech at the event was forwarded to PREMIUM TIMES by his spokesperson, Christian Aburime, on Wednesday night.

‘Nigeria is broke’

Mr Soludo said Nigeria is currently broke, but luxurious lifestyles of the elected officials were not portraying the country’s economic woes.

“Let’s come clean and straight with Nigerians. Nigeria is very poor and broke but the lifestyle of government and government officials does not show it, especially with the obscene flamboyance in public display,” he said.

“The poor are hungry and impatient, let’s not annoy them more with our insensitivity. I agree with Reverend Father (Ejike) Mbaka, who said elected governors should also earn minimum wage. I agree that we should be paid (minimum wage) so that we can feel that as well,” Mr Soludo stated.

“In Anambra, I have not received a kobo as salary since I assumed office. I have donated my salary to the state.”

Disagreement over minimum wage

The organised labour had been in a face-off with the Nigerian government over a new minimum wage which resulted in an industrial action by the workers recently.

The labour unions had initially asked for a minimum wage of over N494, 000 per worker, but later reduced it to N250,000.

However, the government offered N62,000, which was rejected by the workers.

No agreement has been reached between the two parties.

‘New code of conduct’

Mr Soludo said he had proposed a new code of conduct for elected officials to improve fiscal prudence while performing their duties.

“For the federal government, the actual projecting revenue comes to about N6,160 per Nigerian, per month.

“For the states, except Lagos and a few states, most states have revenues amounting to less than N3,000 per resident, per month,” he said.

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