Niger state government says the state government can no longer foot the salary bill of the state due to drop in federal allocation. The Governor said he has concluded plan to pay only 70% of workers salary across the board in this month of November, the move which labour has vowed to resist.
According to the Secretary to the Niger state government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, while explaining to the organised labour, he said that does not mean reduction but is the only option available at the disposal of the government as it cannot meet up with the bill.
In his statement, “There is no talk about slash in the salaries of civil servants. What we have discussed with the organized Labour was that because of the recession, our FAAC allocation has dropped to a level where we won’t be able to pay 100 per cent of the salary.
He added, “We called their attention to this, we opened our books in terms of how much we received, the existing commitments and what is left over,”
Although Matane confirmed that the state authority will engage the organise labour today to take the position and agree on something.
However, the organised labour has concluded that they will go on an indefinite strike if the state government insist on this decision of the salary cut. They revealed they would make their stance known after the meeting later in the day with the state government on whether they would proceed on the industrial action or not.
The organised labour in collaboration with other affiliate union has revealed its stance shortly after the meeting with State Executive Council in Minna that it is either 100% of their salary or nothing.
They gave the state government from now to the end of the month to make up its mind or face their anger of industrial action.
Although the Labour has not yet disclosed its plan, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) chairman in the state, Inusa Tanimu has disclosed that failure by the state government to pay less than 100% will certainly attract industrial action.
He said, “We are meeting tomorrow [Thursday], we are still talking with them but one thing we have decided is that anything less than 100 per cent is a no to us.”
Meanwhile, one of the APC Chieftains in Niger state, Jonathan Vatsa advised Governor Abubakar Bello to slash the salaries and allowances of political office holders in the state to enable the government to cope with the present economic realities.
Vasta said the state government has only one option which is “a holistic structural adjustment” to be able to cope with the present realities.