GOVERNORS Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abdulfatah Ahmed Kwara) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) have assured workers of their readiness to pay the N30,000 new minimum wage.
They spoke yesterday at different fora on the minimum wage, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari
Fayemi said the welfare of the workers had always been his concern, stressing that his government would pay the minimum wage for effective and efficient service delivery.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Biodun Omoleye, spoke in Ado-Ekiti at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) delegates’ conference, where Olatunde Kolapo was elected as the new chairman of the state NLC.
He said the newly elected leadership of the trade unions would be invited soon for a meeting on the modalities to ensure the payment.
He announced that facilities at government offices would be upgraded and conducive environment would be provided to ensure the optimal performance of workers.
At the event, NLC National President Ayuba Wabba, who was represented by an ex-officio, Maureen Onyia-Ekwuazi, stated that the workers would not accept any minimum wage that is less than N30,000 from the governors.
Wabba said the new minimum wage has become binding, having been signed into law by the President, stressing that the excuses by some governors that they would not be able to pay was not tenable.
But, Akeredolu pleaded with the Federal Government to review the present revenue sharing formula to enable states to cope with the new increment.
He spoke through the Head of Service (HoS) Toyin Akinkuotu during the election of Mr. Sunday Adeleye as the state NLC Chairman.
The governor said: “We are not against the new minimum wage and if we are not against it, we are in support. Our prayer is that the Federal Government should look into the revenue allocation sharing formula, by giving more money to states and local governments to enable them to implement the new minimum wage”.
Congratulating the new NLC executives, the governor, who hailed the peaceful conduct of the election, advised workers to cooperate with the new executives.
To Ortom, workers deserved more than N30,000 minimum wage if funds were available to pay.
The governor said consultations would soon begin towards successful implementation of the new wage.
The governor, however, called on the Federal Government to review the Revenue Allocation Formula in favour of states to facilitate the smooth implementation of the new wage.
He spoke at the JS Tarka Foundation, Makurdi while opening the Benue State NLC Council delegates’ conference.
Ortom urged those that would be elected at the conference to brace and provide selfless service to the organised labour, stressing that they should be servant leaders.
Ahmed said his administration was also committed to paying the new minimum wage.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications Dr. Muyideen Akorede said “in this regard, the government set up a committee headed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Susan, to work out the modalities and sources of revenue for the payment months before the President signed the new minimum wage into law”.
“The committee is expected to submit its report to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed next two weeks,” the media aide said.
Ahmed said the state government did not owe core civil servants any salary arrears.
But, he stated that the state government is owing junior secondary school teachers and local government workers some months’ salaries.
The state is claiming that the junior teachers and council workers are in the payroll of Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Teachers under the aegis of Kwara State Concerned Teachers have blamed their predicament on Nigerian Union of Teachers’ (NUT) leaders.
The group said the NUT leaders had mortgaged the welfare and interest of its members.