Senator representing Edo North senatorial district, Adams Oshiomhole, has kicked against the N30,000 monthly minimum wage which he described as a “criminal wage”.
Oshiomhole who sat for an interview on Channels Television on Sunday night, July 23, revealed that his cleaner earns more than N60,000 monthly. He also stated that the average responsible private-sector employer is a better employer than the Federal Government or state government.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Oshimohole who further stated that his background gives him an insight on the cost of living, added that he can’t pay his cleaner any less “in a clean conscience”.
The 71-year-old lawmaker said;
“If I have chosen to employ a cleaner and chosen not to clean the house by myself, that is the least I thought I could pay. The pay will not 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.”