Rising from an emergency meeting held at the labour house in Minna the state capital on Thursday, the Organised Civil servants in Niger state, have again rejected the planned slash in their salaries by the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello- led state government.
This was just as the organised labour has said it will organise “special prayer session to seek divine intervention in the matter.”
The state government had last week, informed state’s labour unions that it will reduce salaries of the state’s workforce by 30 per cent and those of local government employees by 40 per cent, blaming its decision on poor revenue receipt from Federation Account.
A communique issued at the end of the emergency meeting, on Thursday said, “it has also rejected any form of renegotiation of salaries as it is not in tandem with any extant laws of the land.
“The session cautioned Niger state government not to try the temptation of posting slash salaries to the accounts of the state civil servants, failure which the organised labour in the state will be left with no other option than to mobilise its members to immediately embark on indefinite strike action.”
According to the communique jointly signed by the state’s NLC Chairman, Comrade Yakubu Garba and his counterpart, Chairman of the state’s Trade Union Congress ( TUC) Chairman, Comrade Tanimu Yunusa, the congress hinged its decision in rejecting the salary deduction on the fact that “civil servants in Niger state were not part of the beneficiaries of state’s COVID- 19 palliatives because they will continue to enjoy 100 per cent salaries as confirmed by the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) in his capacity as Chairman of the state Task Force on COVID- 19.”
According to the document, the position of labour was also informed by the fact that President Mohammadu Buhari “had earlier directed the suspension of all forms of deductions from state governments monthly allocations from FAAC, to enable the governors meet with the responsibilities of salary payment which is a first-line charge.”
The meeting also asked the government to pay withheld salaries for the months of April and May 2020 to some certain categories of workers.
The Congress, therefore, resolved to host special prayer session to invoke divine intervention that will lead to the payment of salaries.
Finally, the meeting “expressed loss of trust in Niger state government and expressed serious fears over the faith of 7.5 per cent CPS (Contributory Pension Scheme) being administered by the government.”
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