Kwara State Government has given reasons why it can’t accept the demands of the state’s organised labour unions wholly over the new national minimum wage.
The state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a statement signed by Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, said if it heeded the proposal made by labour on new minimum wage, Kwara would spend 85% of its allocation on public sector workers alone, up from the current 75%.
He added that the remaining over 3.450million Kwarans will struggle with the remaining 15% percent. “This is very scary and hardly sustainable if we want to develop”, he said.
He noted that the state government has made fact-based presentations to the labour unions on what it can afford without going to borrow to pay salary.
“The proposal includes that no worker will earn below the N30,000 minimum wage enacted by the Minimum Wage Act. We also made suggestions on the consequential adjustments as they affect the other cadres”, he stated.
He further stated that the state government would soon make labour a new offer “based on the emerging realities of the state.”
According to him, “it is important to note that the 2020 budget had been predicated on $57 per barrel of crude oil. But today the price of crude oil has fallen to $54 and that means the financial projection of the country and indeed the state has been seriously altered.”
He urged the workers’ unions to kindly see reasons why it cannot afford to go borrowing to pay salary in the face of yawning infrastructural deficits and underdevelopment in the state.