The Abia State government has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and a national newspaper to apologise to the governor for enlisting the State as one of the defaulters in minimum wage implementation.
A statement made available to Vanguard and signed by the Commissioner of Information of the state, John Kalu, clarified that Abia State is the first state to commence the implementation of the minimum wage, with the “least paid worker in the state workforce earning above the minimum wage of N30,000.”
The statement reads:
Our attention has been drawn to the above titled publication in a national newspaper of Saturday, 13th March, 2021 which cited a document purportedly obtained from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and corroborated by the Deputy General Secretary of NLC, Bello Ismail, to the effect that Abia State is among states that are yet to implement the new minimum wage and wish to state that the report is false and without bearing to facts as it concerns our state.
Abia State Government led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, commenced implementation of the new minimum wage in January 2020 with the least paid worker in the state workforce earning above the minimum wage of N30,000.
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Indeed, the state is the first in the south east region to have commenced payment of the new minimum wage to workers. We are therefore lost as to how the national leadership of NLC is not aware of this fact which is verifiable and available within the media space including previous publications by The Guardian, and Abia civil servants who are their members.
The least expected from the national leadership of NLC, before relying, compiling and publishing from the cited document on the status of the state with regard to the payment of the new minimum wage was to have called or cross checked with the local chapter of NLC or any state worker to verify the status.
We hereby call on the national leadership of NLC and newspaper to immediately verify and correct the misrepresentation of facts and apologise to the government and people of Abia State for the incorrect publication.