‘How Do We Feed Ourselves, Families With N17,820 Salary?’ — Edo Street Sweepers Demand Pay Rise

In Edo State, street sweepers staged a protest against their meager monthly salary of N17,820, which is paid by the State waste management board.

The female sweepers, wearing their uniforms, gathered at the secretariat of the Edo chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Monday to voice their concerns.

Carrying placards with messages like “We demand a salary increase” and “N17,820 is not enough,” the protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with their current wages.

Glory Efosa, speaking on behalf of her colleagues, highlighted that they had been receiving this amount for the past six years.

Given the current economic situation, they find it increasingly difficult to manage their expenses with such a meager income.

Efosa explained that although they were officially paid N18,000, after tax deductions, they were left with N17,820.

Despite numerous complaints and letters requesting a salary increase, their pleas have gone unanswered.

She mentioned that they started receiving this salary during the tenure of Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, and to this day, their wages remain the same.

Furthermore, Efosa criticized the lack of recognition they faced from the government. While they were told that they were not officially employed by Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration, they were still called upon to clean and beautify the city of Benin whenever needed.

She recalled a recent incident where they were asked to clean up New Benin after completing their regular duties on a Saturday.

During the cleaning activity, the general manager was present, but when they wanted to address the issue of their salary, they were asked to wait, and ultimately, the matter was disregarded.

Efosa emphasized the financial struggles they face, especially with the removal of fuel subsidy and the subsequent rise in prices

The N17,820 salary is insufficient to cover their children’s school fees, house rent, and provide for their families
While appreciating Governor Obaseki’s decision to increase the minimum wage to N40,000 for other workers in May 2022, Efosa urged the government to extend the same consideration to the street sweepers, as an improved salary would greatly enhance their ability to survive and meet their basic needs.

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By Chinedu

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