Minimum wage: Benue workers urge Ortom to hasten implementation

By Martin Iyonguvihi

Some workers in Benue State who are yet to be captured in the new minimum wage have begged Governor Samuel Ortom to hasten up and reciprocate the implementation of new salary threshold to include workers from grade level seven and above.

The governor recently directed payment for the N30,000 new minimum wage signed into law by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2019, to begin with state civil servants from grade level one to six.

Governor Ortom had, through a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, directed the state Head of Service to immediately commence implementation of the interim agreement his administration reached with labour leaders on payment of N30,000 minimum wage to state civil servants on grade levels one to six.”

However, in a chat with The Voice, some civil servants on grade levels seven and above, who are yet to be captured, said the governor should not forget to include them.

“Based on the chart I saw, if there is going to be any increment, it should be something tangible considering that the prices of goods in the market have increased even though its  just for the junior cadre. Some workers are captured and some are yet to be captured. We appeal to the governor to consider us. The governor is trying, at least we are seeing salaries every month now,” a worker in the salaries and pensions department who did not want his name in print said.

Also, a civil servant under Benue State Planning Commission who spoke to The Voice on condition of anonymity, said, the governor should hasten the implementation of the minimum wage of workers on grade levels seven and above.

He attributed the decision of the state government to implement the N30,000 minimum wage to only workers on grade levels one to six, to the absence of labour unions and lack of sincere advice from the Head of Service to the government.

He however, appealed to the state government to implement the N30,000 minimum wage across all grade levels as the proposed grade levels one to six constitute a minority in the workforce which, he said, will not affect the government finances.

When contacted, the Head of Service, Mrs Veronica Onyeke, urged civil servants in the state to exercise patience. She said, “government is fully committed to the implementation of the new minimum wage as modalities are already in place towards the implementation.”

According to her, on the governor’s directive, her office is awaiting a reply from the already prepared secular sent to labour unions’ negotiating team from the office of Head of Service.












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