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Edo State on the Brink: Governor Obaseki Raises Alarm on Looming Salary Crisis

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BENIN CITY, Nigeria — The ability of Edo State to continue paying its workers beyond June is in grave doubt, according to Governor Godwin Obaseki. Amid the May Day celebrations, the leader issued a stark warning concerning the financial future of the state, predicting dire measures may have to be taken to meet financial obligations.

During his address at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on May 1, 2023, Governor Obaseki didn’t mince words about the economic challenges ahead. “It would be a miracle for the Federal Government and state governments to pay salaries beyond June this year without resorting to massively printing money or removing fuel subsidies,” he said.

The governor’s grim forecast comes as a harbinger of potentially more hardship and pain for Nigerians, especially for the working class. However, Obaseki called for a collective responsibility in addressing these challenges, urging workers not to bear the burden of these financial measures alone.

“We must all make sure that the burden and pain of these measures, which must be taken, are not carried by workers alone. Workers must now rise and ensure that they champion any discussion on subsidy removal,” Obaseki urged.

Despite the ominous outlook, the governor reaffirmed his commitment to the welfare of workers and the overall wellbeing of the Edo people. Obaseki stressed the need for dynamic policy approaches, and for workers to take the lead in policy discussions, rather than reacting after decisions have been made.

“You must shift from the tradition of reacting when these policies have been made but insist that you take charge and ensure full transparency and disclosure. If we are all undertaking a reform, then the benefits and pains that will come out of the reforms must be mutually shared by all Nigerians, not just the downtrodden.”

In a commitment to his state’s workforce, Governor Obaseki pledged: “As your governor, I will ensure that workers are fairly treated so that your take-home pay can really take you home. Our government has kept faith with prompt and regular payment of staff salaries and retirees’ benefits in the state in the last six years.”

As the Nigerian government and its states grapple with fiscal uncertainties, the coming months will reveal the depth of the crisis and the effectiveness of the measures they take to address it. The Edo people and, indeed, all Nigerians, will be watching keenly as the country navigates this economic quagmire.

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