The Niger state government has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embrace dialogue and understanding by calling off its ongoing strike for the growth and development of the state.
The Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, made the appeal while speaking to journalists Friday in Minna, saying that the situation was temporary and that “it is a deferred that will be refunded back in due course.”
“This is not the best of times for the government and is also not the best of times for Labour. Government has not relented on reaching out for Labour. We are looking at issues raised by labour and we hope for amicable resolution,” he said.
He said the deferred part payment of salaries of the civil servants was not deliberate, but due to the dwindling economy that impacted on the FAC and state IGRs caused by the effects of Covid-19 on the global economy.
Abubakar said the present administration led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello “is passionate about the welfare and well-being of its workforce hence the implementation of 30% minimum wage, consequential salary adjustment, new pension scale and Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). “
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Sani Idris, said the government attached a high premium to payment of salaries and regretted that he was misquoted in a recent media report as saying the government accords priority to security issues rather than payment of workers’ salaries.
“Payment of salaries is very important because it also guarantee security. I didn’t say the government would focus on security issues rather than payment of salaries. This is outright misrepresentation,” he said.