Kwara State government has assured workers of the payment of N30,000 new minimum wage.
The state commissioner for Communications, Harriet Afolabi Oshatimehin pleaded with the labour to accept a more reasonable scale which takes the total wage bill to less than N3billion monthly.
Afolabi- Oshatimehin, also clarified that the planned staff audit and verification are part of the government’s efforts to reposition the public service in the state, saying it is not a precondition for the payment of the minimum wage.
She added: “To be sure, negotiations for the minimum wage continued. The minimum wage is a law the state government will obey”.
“The challenge however has been how the local governments can afford it”.
“At the moment, all the local governments combined earn an average of N2.6bn monthly, including the 10 percent of their share of the IGR”.
“Remarkably, the monthly wage bill of these local governments stands at about N2.5bn. These expenses are based on the extant N18,000 minimum wage”.
“When the new minimum wage is considered, including the consequential adjustments, the wage bill will shoot up to around N3bn. Clearly, the earnings of the local governments cannot afford such at this time”.
“The government is committed to paying the minimum wage but it is pleading with the labour to accept a more reasonable scale which takes the total wage bill to less than N3bn”.
We call for reasonable and practical steps to avoid a situation which will lead to the local government borrowing to pay salaries as was the case before this administration.”