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General News of Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Source: The Guardian

Strike looms in Kano as government returns to old minimum wage

•Blames sharp drop in federal allocation

Industrial action looms in Kano State as the government has said it can’t pay workers’ wages for March 2021. Kano branch of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had, on Thursday, issued a seven-day ultimatum for the state government to settle workers’ salary according to the new minimum wage of N30,000.

The workers issued the ultimatum after rejecting government’s offer to return to the old salary structure for March pay.
But in a statement yesterday by the Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, the government made it clear that given the present financial situation, it would find it difficult to implement the consolidated salary for March.

Garba, who attributed the development to a sharp drop in February’s federal allocation, told workers to sheathe their sword.
The government regretted that against all odds, Kano had never dithered in the payment of workers’ salary. He pointed out that at the last meeting with the labour union in May 2020, there was an understanding that government would pay workers’ salaries based on percentage of the total disbursement received

“For the month of March, the state government received a total allocation of N12.4 billion from the federation account, out of which it took N6.1 billion, while the 44 local councils collected N6.3 billion.

“For the state government to pay the consolidated wages to its workers, it needs additional fund, which is currently not available. In November/December last year, similar thing happened, but a temporary measure was adopted in the payment of workers’ salary. The situation, however, reversed for the months of January and February, when the situation improved.”

Garba passionately solicited the support and cooperation of the labour unions and the workforce in general to maintain the good working relationship with the government in the interest of industrial harmony.

He assured workers in the state that they would continue to receive the new package as soon as the situation improves. NLC Chairman, Kabiru Minjibri, could not be reached till press time to react to the government’s position.

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