Kano cannot pay N30,000 minimum wage for now ― Official

Kano State government has said that it would not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage for the month of March due to a shortfall in the monthly federal allocation, urging the workers to reason along with the state government.

However, the state government noted that it has never dithered in the payment of workers’ salary since its inception given the present financial situation,

Making the assertion on Monday, in a statement signed by the state commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, disclosed that the drop in federal allocation for the period under review has made it difficult for the government to implement the new salary package.

According to him, it is difficult to implement the consolidated salary for the month of March, which is though a temporary measure.

He further disclosed that for the month of March, the state government received a total allocation of N12, 400, 000, 000 billion from the federation account, out of which the state collected N6, 100, 000, 000, 000 billion, while the 44 local governments collected the sum of N6, 300, 000, 000 billion.

He said for the state government to pay the consolidated wages to its workers, it needs additional billions of naira which is currently not available.

Garba disclosed that at its meeting with the labour union in May 2020, there was an understanding that government would pay workers’ salaries based on a percentage of the total disbursement received.

However, it will be recalled that the labour unions are threatening an industrial strike over the failure of the state government to meet its conditions before the workers’ salary deduction in March.

The State Labour demand stated that for any deduction to take place from the salary of any worker in the state, including seeing the government book of accounts, the total workforce of public servants (both state and local government), actual total wage bills for state workers (both state and local government), number of political office holders ( both state and local governments)and total wage bill for political office holders( State and local government).

Other demands are; the shortfall of salary payment for March 2021, Nov and Dec 2020 and January 2021 state deduction, November, December 2020 and January 2021 state and local government pensions deductions, that refund of deductions from March 2021, salaries should be with a time frame (within 3 months April to June 2021) by Kano State Government and payment of pending 8 months salary arrears and the balance of two months 50 per cent deducted should be paid within 6 months from May-November, 2021 and deduction must cut across all workers including political officeholders and all permanent secretaries.

Recall that Malam said in November/December, last year, a similar necessary but temporary measure was adopted in the payment of workers’ salary as a result of the shortage to keep the government going which was, however, reversed for the months of January and February, after the situation improved.

The commissioner further recalled that Kano was the first among the few states in the federation to agree to the implementation of the minimum wage without any hesitation which should have been put into consideration by the organised labour.

He noted that given the situation, the organised labour ought to have reasoned with the government because embarking on strike won’t in any way solve the problem.

Malam Garba, therefore, appealed for the support and cooperation of the labour union and the entire workforce in general to maintain a good working relationship with the government in the interest of industrial harmony.

The commissioner then assured workers in the state that they would continue to receive the new package as soon as the situation improves.

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