CHAIRMAN Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu PhD, has called for urgent harmonisation of salary structures in Nigeria for a better living standard in the country.
He advocated harmonisation of the federal and state government’s salary structures to bridge the gap between federal and state government workers.
Dr Odogwu made the call while addressing newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital on the celebration of UN declared International Equal Pay Day for workers at the weekend.
He said workers under the state civil service are paid below their colleagues at the federal level despite performing similar functions and duties, decrying that workers in some private sector are enslaved.
“It is very appalling that in Nigeria, people are taking different salaries. For instance, people working under the federal, state and even the local government are taking different salaries.
“I don’t think it augurs well with workers at the state and council levels, considering the fact that they perform the same functions and similar duties. They also work under the same economy and shop from the same markets.
“Take a look at the fact that the take home of a director working under federal government is three times more than his colleague in state ministry. Monthly wages of some civil servants in state ministries are laughable, whereas their counterparts at the federal level earn reasonable pay.”
“The worst hit are those under parastatals where someone, after working for so many years, retires without pension and gratuity.”
Condemning the massive exploitation in the private sector, Odogwu said: “It is only in the private sector you see a graduate taking home something below minimum wage as monthly salary. Where such employees are paid good salaries, they would ensure they enslave the workers to death.”
Commemorating the 2022 International Equal Pay Day, celebrated on September 18, every year, the NUJ Chairman urged President Mohammadu Buhari to direct the Salaries and Wages Commission to address the anomalies, discrepancies in salaries of workers and set a benchmark for salaries of both the federal, and state workers, even private sector.
He therefore appealed to private organisations to ensure they pay a reasonable wages to their workers judging from the harsh economic situation in the country.