In psychology, it has been proved that a person’s environmental

affectation has much to do with his attitude towards life, including his or

her relationship with persons around him or her. Any child that grew up

in an environment where love or friendship is hardly found, in most

cases, if not always, would end up as either a cantankerous and

belligerent being or, at best a very passive, nonchalant and very

unfriendly person.

On the other hand, a child that grows up in a very friendly,

accommodating and clement environment, ends up a very amiable and

generous member of his or her society. No wonder, the white man says;

‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are’.


It, therefore, follows that man’s attitudinal approach to the welfare of his

fellow man could, in the main, be determined by the social circle he is

deeply immersed in and associates with. If, par adventure, a butcher

becomes the head of his society, his policies would definitely tilt towards

easy and cheap purchase of cows and other animals that could be

slaughtered by his erstwhile colleagues; the butchers. Where a civil or

public servant becomes the governor of his state, it would equally follow

that such a person would normally have a friendly disposition towards

the working class of his state, being his primary constituency,

The deepening of democratization in Nigeria cannot be guaranteed

without taking into cognizance the untiring and very efficient

contributions of the Nigerian worker. The Nigerian Public Servants have

been found to be very conscientious, innovative and, equally enduring.

When compared with their counterparts in other parts of the globe, it has

always been clear that their income falls short of what their peers in

either Europe or, even, Asia earn. This was why the military

administration of General Yakubu Gowon set up the Chief Jerome Udoji

National Salary Review Panel that, almost radically, reviewed upward the

salary of the Nigerian workers in 1974.

Still in consideration of the humble but very essential contributions of

the Nigerian Public Servants towards Nation building, twenty-one years

after Udoji’s salary review that is in 2001, President Olusegun Obasanjo

came up with another salary review which, inevitably, catapulted the

earnings of the Public Servants to, at least, a minimally comfortable level.

The Nigerian Public Servant is, like any other citizen of this great

country, living in a society that is holistically dynamic. Societal

dynamism implies that things may continue to change, either for good

or, even, for bad, including hydra-headed inflation. So, no clear-minded

person should adjudge the Nigerian Public Servant as an Oliver Twist.

In response to the dynamics of the free-market economy of the Nigerian

Polity, it became obvious that the Nigerian worker had to bow down to

the inevitability of economic reality in 2010, to demand, once again, for

an upward review of his take-home package.


As it is said, a golden fish has no hiding place. During the preliminary

negotiation on labour’s demand for salary increase at Abuja in 2010, the

best friend of workers in Nigeria, undoubtedly, distinguished himself and

that gentle-man was Ochendo. Being an urbane charismatic bureaucrat of

the highest and finest order, Governor T.A. Orji spontaneously proposed

an amount that was the highest for the Nigerian worker as monthly

minimum wage.

When finally it was resolved and legislated upon that the Nigerian Public

Servant shall be paid a minimum Wage of eighteen thousand naira

monthly, the government of God’s own state, ably led by the most

labour-friendly and technocratic Ochendo, simply withdrew to her

drawing table and conducted a holistic analysis of the national legislation

on minimum wage and subsequently and sustainably came up with an

unprecedented trail-blazer in the history of salary consideration in


The state government has considerately, willingly and, of course,

philanthropically imposed upon itself a monthly minimum wage of

twenty thousand and one hundred naira. The Interesting thing is that 1st

December, 2011 has been chosen as commencement date of its payment

while the arrears will be calculated starting from April 2011 and will be

paid in twelve months; between January and December 2012.

Ochendo, indeed, epitomizes an unequalled classical example of an ever

considerate administrative philanthropist. He should be appreciated and

is, hereby, appreciated.             .

As Abians salute Ochendo, wisdom also demands that they acknowledge,

in a very special way, the unrivalled maturity and patriotism exhibited by

the organized labour in Abia State throughout the long period of

negotiation. In the same vein. the public servants of Abia State should be

commended for their perseverance while negotiation lasted. They must,

however, be conscious of the simple fact that to whom much is given

much is correspondingly expected.

Chief (Sir) Don Ubani; KSC. JP

(Okwubunka of Asa)

Hon. Commissioner for Information & Strategy