The Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has stated that he has no intention to reduce workers salaries by 70 per cent as being reported in some media platforms.
He made the clarification over the weekend adding that government was still engaging the labour on the ways to solve the salary problems amid economic meltdown.
A statement by the chief press secretary to the governor yesterday in Minna stated that what government did, in its tradition of engaging with stakeholders on issues, is to meet with labour on the present economic meltdown to discuss the way forward.
He stated that at the meeting, which was presided by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Shehu Umar Danyaya, government informed labour of the precarious condition of the state’s finance and that the state has been borrowing since January to augment workers’ salary.
According to the statement “It was a meeting where government presented figures of her receipts and wage bill to labour, to enable us jointly proffer solution in view of the state’s dwindling resources.
At the meeting, three options were suggested by government for consideration as obtained in other states. These include, downsizing of work force, deduction in salaries and payment of full salary to some Ministries, Departments and Agencies this month and consider others the following month.
“At no point did government announce plan for 70 per cent slash. What it did was only to give the financial books of the state to the labour in order to find joint solution to the challenges confronting us as partners.
I wish to also state here that government later ruled out staff downsizing as an option. So, it was wrong for the publication to have said that government threatened to reduce the workforce if labour objects to salary cut” the chief Press secretary added in the statement.”
He said “I wish to also add that the present leadership in the state under His Excellency, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, will not do anything to compromise workers welfare.
Let it also be on record that the 26- man organised labour team, led by state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Idris Ndako and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Y. D Tanimu, appreciated the financial predicaments of the state”.