Speaking at the May Day celebration with the theme “Workers’ rights and socio-economic justice,” the governor stated that the Federal Government may not be able to pay salaries beyond June due to its resort to either massively printing money or removing fuel subsidy.
The governor, who reassured workers that his government would sustain reforms and projects to improve their welfare and ensure better livelihoods for the people of Edo State, urged workers to hold governments accountable for their policies and programmes.
“It would be a miracle for the Federal Government and state governments to pay salaries beyond June this year without resorting to massively printing money or removing fuel subsidy,” Governor Obaseki said. “Either of these decisions will bring more hardship and pain to Nigerians, particularly workers.”
He called on workers to rise and ensure that the burden and pain of these measures, which must be taken, are not carried by them alone. The governor charged workers to shift from the tradition of reacting when these policies have been made and instead take charge to ensure full transparency and disclosure.
“If we are all undertaking a reform, then the benefits and pains that will come out of the reforms must be mutually shared by all Nigerians, not just the downtrodden,” he added.
The current economic downturn in Nigeria has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted the global economy, including Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy. The country has experienced a decline in oil revenue, which has led to a shortage of foreign exchange and a rising inflation rate.
If the Federal Government resorts to printing money or removing fuel subsidy, the consequences will be severe. Massively printing money will lead to inflation, which will erode the value of the Naira and make life more difficult for the citizens. Removing fuel subsidy will lead to an increase in the cost of living, particularly for the poor and working-class citizens.
It is essential for the government to engage with workers and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the economic challenges facing the country. Governor Obaseki’s warning should serve as a wake-up call for the Federal Government to take urgent action to address the looming crisis and prioritize the welfare of Nigerian workers and citizens.