From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
Following the Nigeria Labour Congress in Niger state issuance of a 21 day ultimatum to the governor, Abubakar Sani Bello led state government for it to implement the new minimum wage of N30,000 or face indefinite strike which expires 4th February 2020.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has conceded to the NLC threat disclosing that the state government will commence the payment of the new National Minimum Wage this January.
The Governor made the disclosure when he received the chairmen of the 25 local government councils on a solidarity visit over the recent Supreme Court verdict affirming his election as the duly elected Governor of the state.
Governor Bello said that a committee has been set up already and considerable progress has been made in an ongoing negotiation to begin the implementation of the new minimum wage.
“At the moment our top priority is to address those that have been affected directly by the minimum wage and what it means is, anyone who is below the minimum wage policy
“I have given the directive that it should be implemented this January, so that those that are entitled or fall within the class of minimum wage will get”, he said.
According to him, those that are not directly affected by the N30, 000 minimum wage will be taken care of in the next phase which is the consequential adjustment.
“If you implement the new minimum wage, then you find out that there will be the need for consequential adjustments for all”.
The Governor noted that paying salaries is not just the only function of government, adding that, at the moment, 80 per cent of the state’s income goes into salary payment.
He expressed unhappiness that the state civil servants were not enjoying the best as they should, stressing that, with a workforce of no fewer than 27, 000, and the state population of over 4 million, executing capital projects and paying salaries regularly have been extremely difficult.