Labour promises ‘tough times’ for governors who refuse to pay the new minimum wage

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The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has promised tough times for governors who may refuse to pay the new minimum wage and salary structure.

The Secretary-General of ASCSN, Mr Bashir Lawal, stated this ahead of release of a new salary package for civil servants by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lawal, speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, said “workers should immediately inform labour about any governor, who refuses to pay the new wage after it must have been put in place by government. The Federal Government is on course to commence the payment of a new minimum wage to civil servants, following persistent demands by labour for the review of the remuneration of workers.

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“Public sector workers in Nigeria are classified as earning some of the lowest wages in the world, a development that has exposed the workers to penury and pain over the years. But political office holders in the country, including members of the nation’s bicameral legislature earn some of the biggest wages in the world, according to analysts.”

Lawal, who is also a member of the tripartite committee on the new minimum wage, insisted that it would be  wrong for any governor to claim that his state lacked resources to pay the new wage, pointing out that every state in the federation had enough resources to cater for workers, including the Federal Government as well.

He said that government could pay the agreed N30, 000 minimum wage without having to look for funds through borrowing.

“Government generates huge funds from the customs, stamp duty payments, value-added services, the treasury single account and other sources. The Federal Inland Revenue Service says it recorded N5.4 trillion in 2018 and is targeting about N8 trillion in 2019. These are revenue sources which can enable government to pay the new minimum wage,” he said.

According to Lawal, labour has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government on how it will pay 90,000 civil servants from grade levels five to 17.

He added that labour would go on total strike if the government failed to submit the minimum wage report to the National Assembly on January 23.

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