By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Government has raised a fourteen man committee to work out modalities for the implementation of the 35% salary increase for civil servants in the employ of the state government but the civil servants in the state appear not really assured of the government’s sincerity to do the needful.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello gave this information while addressing workers at this year’s workers’ day celebration held at the 123 play field in Minna.
He explained that the committee is to look at the possibility of implementing the proposed 35% minimum wage increase in the state. He said the committee would determine the possibility of the inplementation of the new minimum wage of N62,000 as is being clamoured by the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC).
He however reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to workers’ welfare and their development to enable them contribute meaningfully to the growth of the state.
Governor Bello lanemented over the huge wage bill of the state. He disclosed that the state spends N2.4 billion monthly on salaries to 29,000 workers on it’s nominal roll from the little over N4 billion it receives every month from the federal government’s subvention to the state.
Governor Sani Bello also disclosed that his administration has spent over N2 billion as pension and gratuity to 1,599 retired civil servants of the state and local government employees and benefits to deceased persons in the state employment.
He directed the state Head of service, Yabagi Alhaji Sule to ensure that all workers who were due for promotion were captured and those due to exit the public service were passed through the proper chanell for retirement for them to be promptly enlisted for their retirement benefits.
He assured that as soon as resources were received, those who were yet to be paid their retirement benefits would be considered.
But the state chairman of the NLC, Idris Ndako Yahaya had earlier asked the state governor to strive more on the improvement of workers well-being and statuses.
The NLC chairman expressed dismay over the refusal of the state government to implemente payment of domestic allowance to senior civil servants from grade levels 15 to 17.
He also asked for the implementation of the 7.5% contributory pension scheme for workers on the state pay roll.
The hundreds of civil servants who were at the parade ground for the workers’ day celebration, appeared downcast with the governor’s indefinite assurance on the demand for the 62% wage increase.
Many of the civil servants simply walked out of the parade ground as soon as the governor said a committee was being set up to study the possibility of implementing the new minimum wage of 62%.
Many of them had expected a more definite assurance on the commencement date for the implementation of the new minimum wage increase hence their pains and frustration.