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What we call minimum wage is a criminal wage — Oshiomhole



Adams Oshiomhole, a senator from Edo North, called the N30,000 monthly minimum pay on Sunday a “criminal wage” and claimed his cleaner receives no less than N60,000.

Oshiomhole made this call during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He said, “What we call minimum wage is a criminal wage. If you exchange N30,000 at N800 or N700 to the dollar, what does that translate to? So, the value of that minimum wage when it was N125 – when it was first introduced under, I think, (Shehu) Shagari’s government – is about two times or three times the value many years later, even in the public service.”

Read Also: My opponents would have harassed me out if I did not win my senatorial election – Oshiomhole

According to him, the average responsible private-sector employer is a better employer than the Federal Government or state government.

“I can tell you what I have decided to pay my cleaner. My cleaner is just a primary school – I’m not sure she has even a school leaving certificate. But she’s knowledgeable enough to clean the house,” he said.

“I found myself unable to pay her less than N60,000 – in fact, N60,000. It’s about my conscience. I’m trying to imagine what she has to pay for a house. She told me she has four children.

“I’m trying to imagine how she has to look after those children and I cannot question why she should have four children.”

The pay, according to him, will not necessarily “deliver a comfortable living standard, but what you call irreducible minimum for her to survive”.

“If I do that to my cleaner, I have to do a little more to my driver because he requires some training and sometimes, even retraining, and my security is in his hands,” he added.

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