MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND STRATEGY,
NNAMDI AZIKIWE SECRETARIAT COMPLEX,
PM.B. 7252, UMUAHIA, ABIA STATE.
TWENTY THOUSAND AND ONE HUNDRED NAIRA ABIA MINIMUM WAGE;
A CLASSICAL DISPLAY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PHILANTHROPY BY OCHENDO
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
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
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