By OKECHUKWU PEACE
Upkeep earmarked for dogs in government house cost more than the minimum wage of N18,000, the senator representing Bayelsa-East senatorial district, Ben Murray-Bruce has said.
In a series of tweets, the Chairman of Silverbird Group described as unjust the decision of governors to slash the minimum N18,000 bill.
He tweeted, “I know for the fact that even dogs at Government House cost more than N18,000 to take care of in a month. How much more a human being?
“It is unjust for a government to contemplate reducing workers’ pay of N18,000. What can that amount buy in today’s Nigeria?
“A worker with a family earns less than a member of the NYSC who earns 19,800. Reducing his pay is unconscionable. A man earning N18,000 struggles to pay rent, feed his family and pay school fees. To reduce his pay is to punish his family.
“In the last four years, the cost of food and fuel has gone up. Can we, in good faith, make a case for the reduction of workers’ pay?”
Ben-Bruce warned that reducing the minimum wage would increase the rate of corruption as workers would indulge in sharp practices to augment their income.
He said it was hypocritical of governors to spend over N18, 000 per meal and ask civil servants to receive less than N18,000 a month.
He added, “If the government doesn’t pay workers well, it invites workers to steal. To end corruption, we must pay workers well.
“You cannot be spending more than N18,000 per meal and claim that the man who earns N18,000 per month is overpaid.”ns for a supplementary election in Kogi State.
Audu, who had polled a higher number of votes than the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and the incumbent governor of the state, Capt Idris Wada, in the election, which was declared inconclusive by INEC, died suddenly on Sunday in his home at Ogbonicha.
He was buried on Monday according to Islamic rites.
He explained that there were legal provisions to address such incident in the country’s electoral process.
The INEC director added, “When something like this happens, the party on which platform the candidate contested will need to notify the commission; of course, we have heard and read like everyone else but we need to be notified.
He added that the commission would follow the constitution and not the opinion of people on the election, saying there were legal provisions for such incident.
He said because of the urgency of the issues involved in the supplementary election, INEC would prepare itself to commence consultation.
Dazang expressed the hope that the commission would come out with its position about the election before the end of the week, adding that the Electoral Act prescribed 14 days for the conduct of a supplementary poll.
He, however, said whatever the situation would be, Kogi election would not affect the Bayelsa State governorship poll as the commission had the capacity to handle the two elections.
“Assuming the two states’ elections coincide, the commission has the resources to conduct them. Don’t forget we have conducted national elections before and we are just talking about election in two states,” he stated.
On the efficiency of the card reader for the Kogi election, he said available statistics showed that less than one per cent of the deployed card readers failed.
According to Dazang, about 53, out of the 6,066 card readers deployed in the state, malfunctioned during the exercise.