Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has approved the constitution of a 14-man committee for the negotiation of modalities on the implementation of the new national minimum wage in the state.
A statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Muhammad, in Lokoja said the governor’s gesture was inline with his commitment to the welfare of civil servants in the state.
According to the statement, Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Arike Ayoade, Secretary to the State Government is to head the committee with Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Communication Strategy as Secretary.
Other members of the committee include Elder (Mrs.) Deborah Ogunmola, Head of Civil Service; Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Sani (SAN), Special Adviser to the Governor of Legal Matters; Asiwaju Asiru Idris, Special Adviser to the Governor on Finance, Budget and Economic Planning; Engr. Abubakar Ohere Sadiq, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Momoh Jibrin, State Accountant-General; Okala Yakubu, State Auditor-General and Usman Ododo, Local Government Auditor-General.
Members of the organized labour in the committee are Comrade Akeji Yusuf, Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council; Comrade Tade Adeyemi, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE); Comrade I.A Abubakar, Joint Negotiating Council; Comrade Thomas Ayodele, Nigeria Union of Teachers and Comrade Meliga Obaka, Association of Senior Civil Servants.
The statement noted that the committee would be inaugurated on Tuesday (tomorrow) at Lugard House, Lokoja.
Daily Trust reports that there were apprehension within the civil service on whether the state which finds it difficult to pay the N18,000 earlier pegged as minimum wage could meet the obligation threw up by the new review.
However, Bello had at a meeting with labour leaders in the state, boasted that if states such as Katsina, Zamfara and Niger could pay the minimum, why won’t Kogi pay?
The governor also while reacting when the N30,000 minimum wage bill was signed, said “laws are made to be obeyed and we are sure the Federal Government will make it convenient for states to pay the new minimum wage.”
He had welcomed the signing of the bill into law adding: “a committee was set up to look into the modalities of making compliance easy. Kogi State will work with whatever is agreed by the Governors’ Forum. As a government, we will also look inwards to ensure we put smiles on the faces of the workers”.
At the moment, the monthly wage bill of workers in the state government’s service is within the region of about N2.5 billion, while the monthly allocation from the FAAC to the state hovers within the region of N2.5 billion to N2.6 billion.
Also, the internally generated revenues accruing to the state on monthly basis are about N1.3 billion.