BY FESTUS AHON
UGHELLI—DELTA State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has challenged civil servants to match agitation for increased salary with increased productivity and hardwork.
Udughan, who spoke through his Deputy, Professor Amos Utuama, SAN, at University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Asaba Chapter’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Public Service Lecture Series, noted that while workers were entitled to “better wage structures, such aspirations must be justified through hard work and productivity.”
He said arbitrary salary increase without attendant increase in revenue was antithetical to development, since the available revenue would not be enough to execute capital projects after payment of salaries.
He explained that there was a difference between minimum wage and living wage, noting that while the former could be legislated, the latter could not but was subject to negotiation between an employer and his employee.
The governor added that living wage was relative and peculiar to the needs of individual employees, clarifying that living wage to an employee with a family of four may not be a living wage to another with a larger or smaller family size.
Uduaghan blamed the agitations and threat to strike between workers and some state governments on the central wage legislations, which according to him, negates the principles of true federalism.
He maintained that the practice of Federal Government fixing salaries for state workers, should be substituted with individual state governments negotiating salaries that they can pay.
The governor reiterated that his administration hold workers as assets and not as overheads and was prepared to pursue programmes and policies that would better their lots.