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Ortom: I will pay any amount adopted as minimum wage

Benue State  governor Samuel Ortom has promised to pay any amount agreed upon by the negotiating committee on minimum wage.

Ortom stated this on Tuesday in Makurdi, when members of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other sister unions visited him to register their support for the upward review of wages.

The Organised Labour has proposed a minimum wage of N30,000, vowing to shut down the country if the demand was not met.

Ortom, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Terwase Orbunde, said that he was not against the upward review of workers’ minimum wages “in spite of the current economic challenges bedeviling the country”.

“I will work in line with the outcome of the new minimum wage committee.

“I am known for championing improved welfare for workers. I did it when I was the Chairman of Guma Local Government Area.

“When I came on board as governor, primary school teachers were not receiving the N18,000.00 minimum wage. I stepped up their salaries without waiting for them to mount pressure on me to do so.

“I wanted them to be at par with other civil servants in the State.

“They did not march in procession before I increased their salaries. I am not against a better life for workers,” he said.

NLC president Ayuba Wabba, who was represented on the visit by the National Auditor, Simon Anchaver, had earlier urged state and federal governments to accept the N30,000 new minimum wage to avert a total shut down of the country on Nov.6.

The State Chairman, TUC, Mr Ordue Tartenger, in his remarks, said that workers should not be forced to protest before they could get basic demands.

Tartenger argued that the minimum wage had to be reviewed upwards because the prices of goods, including fuel, had gone up.

“Money has lost its value; prices of all items have gone up and workers cannot afford basic needs of their families,” he fumed.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.