I Will Pay ₦30,000 Minimum Wage, Gov Bello Assures Kogi Workers

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Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has assured civil servants in the state that the government is ready to pay the new ₦30,000 minimum wage.

Bello gave the assurance during a stakeholders meeting held at the banquet hall of Government House in Lokoja on Monday.

He called for support and understanding of citizens to ensure his administration block all tax loopholes so it can generate needed revenue to finance the lofty goals set to improve the lives of the people.

Governor Bello expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kogi State for their understanding. He stated that the leadership of Labour knows exactly where the state is and the efforts of the administration to give workers their desired benefits.

The governor’s assurance is coming hours after the national leadership of NLC said it has drawn a battle line with Kogi and 25 other states over non-implementation of new minimum wage.

NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, who spoke on a Channels Television programme, said only 10 states have concluded negotiations with workers on consequential adjustments and are ready to implement the minimum wage law.

Wabba said that the union would declare trade dispute with Kogi, Taraba and Cross River states for failing to initiate talks with workers’ representatives on the implementation of the new wage.

He said the leadership of the NLC would meet with those of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) to review the situation state by state and take action.

“We have three states that are yet to commence anything. We have Cross River, Kogi and Taraba states. These states are yet to even constitute the negotiating committee and these three states have not shown enough commitment to actually start the process of negotiating and implementing the minimum wage.

“We are actually on track. The federal government has set the pace. They have been able to meet up with all the obligations, including payment of arrears. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that from the day the president assented to the bill, it became law. Therefore, states have no reason not to respect a law that was enacted.

“We insist on the process of collective bargaining because we don’t want an allocation of peanuts to workers. The principle of collective bargaining is enshrined in international law that workers should be able to know what they will be paid because the N30,000 is already a law. What we are discussing is the consequential adjustment.

“That is why the unions are interested in looking at the details before they sign. Some (states) will want to pay peanut and that is what we are trying to avoid,” he said.

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