…Meets labour leaders in Alausa
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has expressed the readiness of his administration to pay more than the N30,000 benchmark for the National minimum wage.
Sanwo-Olu, gave the assurance, yesterday, during a closed-door meeting with leaders of organized labour unions, held at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja.
The governor assured that the implementation of the new minimum wage payment in the state would take off after the conclusion of negotiations between the Federal Government and labour unions
The state, he said, was drawing up its finances and creating additional revenue sources that would enable the government to sustain the new minimum wage payment.
Sanwo-Olu said his Government understood the day-by-day challenges being faced by workers in the state to do their tasks, which informed the decision by his administration to pay more than the N30,000 minimum wage benchmark.
He said: “As a government, we take the issue of minimum wage very seriously. We know how important and germane it is to the wellbeing of our people. We are technically ready to implement the new minimum wage. I made a commitment during my previous interactions with the labour unions before my assumption of office and I am still keeping to the promise made. However little it is, we will certainly pay more than N30,000 minimum wage.
“We understand the position Lagos occupies and we understand the challenges workers are facing in Lagos. If other states can raise up to that amount, I believe Lagos needs to show a bit more to appreciate workers’ contribution to the growth of our State.”
During interaction with the labour unions’ leaders, Sanwo-Olu various issues concerning workers such as arrears of workers’ medical allowance, the introduction of premium insurance for the workforce, timely pension payment for retired workers, mortgage scheme for housing, among others were discussed.
Sanwo-Olu said he had directed the Commissioner for Finance to look into the unpaid arrears of workers’ medical allowance, with a charge to clear the backlog and make payment to the affected workers.
The governor said his administration had started to tackle challenges limiting the workers’ productivity, including massive rehabilitation of critical highways across the state to reduce travel time and diffuse road congestion.
Chairman of Lagos Council of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Gbenga Ekundayo, who commended the governor on approval to pay minimum wage, listed re-introduction of town hall meeting with labour unions and appointment of more women into the state’s cabinet as part of the promises fulfilled by the Governor so far.
On her own part, Chairperson of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, comrade Funmi Sessi, described workers as government’s partners in progress, while appreciating Sanwo-Olu for keeping some of his promises with the workers’ unions.
She promised that the Organised Labour would continue to support the government’s efforts towards improving the wellbeing of the residents and workers in the state.