States differ over FG’s N35,000 salary award to federal employees
States were divided yesterday on the deal struck by the Federal Government on Monday night with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give N35,000 wage awards to federal workers to offset the effect of the removal of petrol subsidies.
While some states indicated they would follow the Federal Government’s N35,000 wage award for their employees, others said they had already begun paying their employees N10,000 before the Federal Government award, and so would not be bound by the central government’s move.
Recall that the Federal Government had, in the agreement, accepted to continue payment of the wage award until a new minimum wage is arrived at next year.
In Kwara State, the government said it had already started paying N10,000 wage awards to its workers, even before the Federal Government, and promised to continue to pay but was silent on its readiness to upscale it to N35,000.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said yesterday: “KWSG started awarding extra N10,000 to every civil servant since July, apparently pioneering some sort of cash award.
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In Kebbi State, the government said it would sit with cabinet members soon to determine what wage award to pay to its workers.
Special Adviser to Governor Nasir Idris, on Media and Publicity, Malam Yahya Sarki, said though it is still too early to comment on the issue as the agreement was only signed between the Federal Government and labour on Monday night, the governor, being a former unionist, will approve something substantial for the workers.
He did not, however, state whether the state government will pay up to the N35,000 reached between the Federal Government and Labour.
But in Enugu State, the government agreed to replicate the federal government’s wage award of N35,000 for its workers.
Enugu State Commissioner for Labour and Employment, Chika Ugwuoke, told Vanguard that the state will definitely structure subsidy removal palliative measures in the format the Federal Government had designed to alleviate the plight of workers in the state.
Ugwuoke said that the state government had already started with the smooth distribution of palliatives provided by the Federal Government.
On his part, the Enugu State Chairman of NLC, Fabian Nwigbo, said they were part of the team that negotiated wage award which he disclosed was meant for federal, state, and local government workers.
In Niger State, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Hajiya Binta Mamman, declared that the state government will not be hasty in taking a decision on what to add to its workers’ salary, based on the N35,000 increment announced by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The commissioner said the council meeting which would be presided over by Governor Muhammed Umaru Bago, would deliberate on what she described as a sensitive issue to arrive at a figure to pay, after reviewing the financial implications for the state.
In Adamawa State, the state government said it was ahead of the Federal Government in the provision of palliatives to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidies.
This, the government said it had already approved and had started paying N10,000 across the board as transport allowances to all categories of workers in the state.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Deacon Humashi Wounosikoh, told Vanguard that the N 35,000 approved by the federal government will be looked into by the state government.
He noted that a directive on the N35,000 agreement between labour and the federal government is yet to be communicated to the state.
In Ondo State, the government assured its workers that it would key into the federal government’s template to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy.