‘New minimum wage will be meaningful when government provides basic needs’
• Borno workers demand payment of pension arrears, others
• Kogi NLC seeks probe of bail out, Paris Club funds, Ganduje pledges to implement new wage
• Kebbi workers want demarcation of routes to end herdsmen, farmers clashes
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari has said a new minimum wage for workers would make little or no impact unless government provides basic necessities of Nigerians.
Masari, who spoke yesterday during the Workers Day celebration in the state, said if salaries were increased without commensurate socio-economic development, Nigerian workers would still go back to square one.He said increase in wages would translate to increase in prices of goods and services and that the intended impact would be defeated due to non-provision of basic necessities.
Speaking, the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Tanimu Lawal Saulawa, called on the state government to employ more workers to complement the efforts of existing ones.Saulawa said the call became necessary in view of the “demands and needs of all sectors of the civil service,” adding: “It is very clear that in the next few years, the civil service will face delivery incapacitation.”
Also, the Borno State chapter of the NLC has raised an 11-point demands for payments of N18, 000 minimum wage and pension arrears, gratuities and workers’ promotion benefits for two years.Other demands include implementation of owner-occupier policy and payments of outstanding 10 per cent Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHES) to all health workers.
NLC Chairman, Ali Abana, made the demands yesterday in Maiduguri, while addressing workers on May Day at Ramat Square.Responding, Governor Kashim Shettima described the relationship between labour and government as “cordial and devoid of industrial disputes.”
Meanwhile, the Kogi State NLC has called for a comprehensive probe on how all funds accruing to the state in the last two years was spent to the extent that many workers were still being owed several months of salary arrears.
Its state Chairman, Comrade Onu Edoka made the call in Lokoja during the May Day rally held at the Confluence Stadium.According to him, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, recently disclosed that states shared N1.9 trillion Paris Club refund.He added that despite such huge amount coming in form of bailout, Paris Club Refund and ecological funds, it was strange that workers were still being owed several months arrears ranging, while some have been receiving percentages of their salaries.
He described this year’s celebration as the worst in recent times but the Deputy Governor Simon Achuba who represented Governor Yahaha Bello said the state government would from henceforth strive to start paying salary as and when due.
However, the Kebbi State NLC has urged the state government to demarcate routes for herdsmen to end their clashes with farmers, as well as review pensioners’ entitlements to reflect the increase of regular workers’ salaries in the state.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu disclosed that over 3,500 retired workers whose gratuities amounted to N500000 and bellow have been paid with N9 billion, while others had received about 10 per cent of their entitlements.
Also speaking at the Kofar-Mata Sani Abacha Stadium, Governor Umar Ganduje, pledged to support an upward review and implementation of a new national minimum wage for the state workers, which he said, was long overdue.NLC Chairman in the state, Comrade Kabiru Ado Mingibir, urged workers to ensure that they collect their national identity cards and permanent voter cards (PVCs) ahead of next year’s general elections.
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