President’s and the Vice-President’s pay is low, Vice-
President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
He criticised the private sector for not respecting the
national minimum wage law, which puts the lowest pay at
Speaking at the end-of-year seminar of the State House
Press Corps at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential
Villa in Abuja, Prof. Osinbajo said he earns about N1.5m
as Vice-President; President Buhari earns about N1.75
To him, the pay is not commensurate with the offices they
The vice president also expressed misgivings about the
remuneration of journalists and lawyers, saying journalists’
case is unique because many media owners make big
revenue but simply refuse to pay good wages.
He recalled his brief encounters working with media
houses as legal adviser and how in all the months he
worked he was not paid despite the irregular hours he put
Osinbajo spoke of entry into journalism as not rigorously
regulated or enforced by professional bodies because
untrained persons are allowed in.
He added: ”I realised first of all that this (journalism) is
not a profession from which one could make a decent
living in the first place unless you find a really good way
of doing so.
”But more importantly for me is that you are just on your
own. Journalism as a profession is so wide open.
”There are a few reasons in my view why remuneration is
”The first is that it is just simply cheating. There are
owners of media that are just cheats. They just want to
get something from nothing and that is not uncommon, it
is a general malaise, it is not necessarily restricted to the
”It is also the same in the legal profession. There many
lawyers if they tell you what they earn, you will certainly
not want to be a lawyer.
”The private sector does not respect the minimum wage.
Even if a minimum wage is set nationally, it is not
necessarily respected by the private sector and this is
something that should be factored in to the status of a
company and whether a company is even complying with
The Vice-President urged journalists to brighten their
prospects and future by always seeking ways of
improving themselves and getting better job opportunities
with attendant improved income.
Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura, represented
by the Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Kwara,
was the chairman of the ceremony.
He said: “It is important to note that a good retirement
plan starts the very day you are employed, knowing that
whatever has a beginning has an end; 35 or 60 mandatory
years of service are certainly not eternity.
”It must also be stressed here that it is not too late to
plan even where you have just few years to retire from
”The most important thing is that you have a plan either
of money saved or of the job you intend to carry on after
retirement. Put every other factor in place such as your
age, strength and the mental capacity to carry on.” he
He added “It is important to state, therefore, that the
uncertainty on payment of entitlements has continued to
worry Nigerian workers, making them fear retirement.
”This has led to prospective retirees falsifying their age
just to enable them stay put in the service.
”In this regard, a lot of corruption induced activities have
continued to infiltrate the MDAs and the organised private
sector responsible for managing pension,” he said.
Kwara listed 10 ways to prepare for retirement, including
saving, knowing your retirement needs and contributing to
an employer’s retirement savings plan.
Others, according to him, are learning about employer’s
pension plan, considering basic investment principles, not
touching your retirement savings, asking employer to start
a plan, think of creative ways to be self sustaining, find
out about one’s social security benefits, and asking
The guest lecturer and Chairman of Elumelu Foundation,
Tony Elumelu, said retirement should not be synonymous
with being tired or giving up as it should be a stepping
He advised working journalists to pursue their purposes
with passion, stressing the need to increase capacity in
readiness for the next phase
He said: “Entrepreneurship is not a function of age. Set
your milestones and work towards accomplishing the
”Entrepreneurs are resilient; they persevere to succeed.
You don’t need to give up easily, it requires sacrifice,
Others who presented goodwill messages were Minister
of Information Lai Mohammed; Minister of Transportation
Rotimi Amaechi and Special Adviser (Media & Publicity)
to the President Femi Adesina.