THE government of Bayelsa State has said the State Government has promised to implement the N30,000 minimum wage being proposed by organised labour unions across the country.
The State Head of Service, Sir Luka Obiri, stated this when the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress led a peaceful protest to Government House in Yenagoa.
He said the Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has directed the office of the Head of Service and State Finance team to work out modalities to implement the payment of the N30, 000 minimum wage.
Explaining further, he said: “We hear that government and labour unions are still meeting over the issue but be rest assured that the state government would implement any decision that is arrived at the meeting.
“The governor has directed me to tell you that the State Government is in full support of the struggle for the improved minimum wage for workers across the country.
“He also directed me to announce to you that the State Government will implement the N30,000 minimum wage that has been agreed upon by the labour unions and the Federal Government.
“He has directed the office of the Head of Service and the State Finance Committee to work out modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage.”
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While addressing the Head of Service who received the protesting workers, the National President of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWU), Comrade Joy Bio-Josiah, thanked the state government for its kind gesture.
He said: “The state government in 2007 issued a formal circular adopting the federal salary structure for civil servants in the State. And since then, the state government has not deviated from that arrangement. For this reason, we want to thank you immensely.”
He also called on Nigerians to ignore claims by the Minister of Labour, Mr Chris Ngige, that government didn’t reach an agreement with labour unions to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
“At the end of negotiations, the tripartite committee set to look into the issue of improved minimum wage reached an agreement and signed a document that clearly stated that the new minimum wage should be N30, 000.
“So we were surprised when the minister told Nigerians that the federal government didn’t enter an agreement with labour unions to pay N30,000 as the new minimum wage. His claims are not only false but absurd.”
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