By Ismail Auwal
Kano state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the state government plan to cut the salaries of civil servants due to dwindling revenue.
Speaking on Thursday against the backdrop of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s plan to reduce workers’ salaries, NLC Chairman Kabiru Ado Minjibir distanced the congress from the government plan.
Minjibir noted that the Kano government, through the Head of Service, Binta Ahmed, informed workers that the government would be unable to pay the N30,000 minimum wage due to a shortfall in the federal allocation for the month of February.
The labour leader said that Mrs Ahmed claimed that the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shared N544 billion in February, compared to N699 billion in the previous month, a development that affected the state government’s ability to meet her month’s financial liabilities.
According to him, “We were invited for a meeting with the government under the office of the State Head of Civil Service and presided over by the Head of Service, Barrister Binta Ahmad that the state government could not be able to pay the 30,000 minimum wage as a result of short of funds received from FAAC Allocation.
“Binta revealed that the sum of five hundred and forty four billion naira (N500,44,000,000, 000) was distributed across the states of the federation for the Month of January 2022 as against the six hundred and ninety nine billion naira (N699,000,000, 000) distributed for the month of December 2021, and so they resort to pay workers using the template of April 2021 salary where some percentage was deducted from state workers pay while Local Government workers were paid the N18,000 minimum wage.”
“We went back to the government with three recommendations which include; first of all, the state should go ahead and pay the April 2021 salary but with an agreement signed by both parties that the difference should be paid to the workers along the March 2022 salary if the FAAC allocation reach N700billion.
“Secondly, we recommended that a joint committee between the State Government and the Labour should be set up to go for fact finding from neighbouring states like Kaduna, Jigawa, Bauchi and Sokoto to find out how they cope to augment the payment of salary even when there is low distribution of FAAC allocation across the country because we never hear from these states that workers’ salary are reduced based on shortfall in the allocation.”
“Thirdly, that government intensify efforts on the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR and try to avoid all leakages so that, that surplus could be used to augment whatever deficit in the payment of salary henceforth and the government should also imbibe the culture of saving and as such could help in situation like this and in payment of pension.”
“But alas! They agreed with the second and third recommendations but refused to accept the first one which stated that the deducted amount from workers salary be paid subsequently since the FAAC too will not reimburse them.”
“In line with these, we want to inform all workers in the State and the general public that the NLC and all leaders of other unions in the State disassociate themselves from this decision.:
“We have written to the national body and call on all workers to remain calm while we await further directives,” Minjibir stated.