The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke had said that no responsible government at any level should see the proposed N30,000 minimum wage by the organised labour as a burden, or too high to pay civil servants.
He added that the implementation of the new minimum wage would not in any way affect the privileges and pays attached to government officials.
The Speaker who said this while fielding questions from journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital, maintained that having been fully aware of what government spends money on, it was not a big task for the government to pay workers N30,000 as a minimum wage.
According to him, “With the resources that we have in this country, N30, 000 is not something too much for any government to pay. That is my position as a son of a worker and as a son of a retired teacher.
“Also as a man who has been on top of government administration by reason of my capacity and exposure to national bodies in my days as the pioneer Speaker of Nigerian Youth Parliament and having been close to the then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (late) and the workings of government, and having known what government spends money doing, I think government has the capacity to pay N30, 000 minimum wage.”
Luke, who noted that payment of the new minimum wage by government would not affect the pays and privileges of government officials, urged his colleagues in government not to take the people they lead for granted.
His words, “Yes, we leaders are enjoying the pays and privileges but we should not take Nigerians for granted. If leadership is to be sincere at all levels with the led there are certain things that we should not be doing.
“It is not about party or politics but about the value that we attach to the people that God has given us the opportunity to lead and not to be speaking from both sides of our mouth.
“It is saddening when we allow politics to determine everything and with due respect the way the federal government is playing politics because of 2019 election is not speaking well of leadership.
“You don’t do everything for the purpose of winning election rather for the purpose of development and good governance.”
On the issue of President Muhammadu Buhari’s WAEC certificate saga, the Speaker expressed dismay over the manner of presentation of the attestation to the President, saying that such had brought the office of the president to ridicule.
“I respect the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What I would only want to comment on is that WAEC did not need to do a public presentation of the certificate to the President.
“There are certain things you do and you ridicule that office, that is the highest office in the land. But since the certificate has been so presented, let them submit it to INEC,” he said.