By Bashir Bello, KANO

Kano State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has on Thursday kicked against plans by the state government to cut take-home pay of workers for the month of February.

The State Chairman, Kabiru Ado Minjibir while briefing newsmen on its stand on Thursday at the labour house, said it is disassociating itself from the government plan.

Minjibir hinted that the government said it could not pay the N30,000 new minimum wage to Kano State workers as a result of short fall in Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC allocation shared among the states and as a result of that resort to use the April 2021 salary template where some percentage was deducted from state workers pay while Local Government workers were paid the N18,000 minimum wage.

According to him, “We were invited for a meeting with the government under the office of the State Head of Civil Service and precided over by the Head of Service, Barrister Binta Ahmad that the state government could not be able to pay the 30,000 minimum wage as a result of short of funds received from FAAC Allocation.

“Binta revealed that the sum of five hundred and fourtyfour billion naira (N500,44,000,000, 000) was distributed across the states of the federation for the Month of January 2022 as against the six hundred and ninety nine billion naira (N699,000,000, 000) distributed for the month of December 2021, and so they resort to pay workers using the template of April 2021 salary where some percentage was deducted from state workers pay while Local Government workers were paid the N18,000 minimum wage.”

Minjibir stated that by extension, if this payment is made, obviously, there’s going to be a shortfall on the remittance to Kano State Pension Funds Trustees and obviously the payment of monthly pensions will also be reduced.

“After this, we met with all leaders of various public sectors in the State on the development with the view to deliberate on the matter and get back to the government.

“We went back to the government with three recommendations which include; first of all, the state should go ahead and pay the April 2021 salary but with an agreement signed by both parties that the difference should be paid to the workers along the March 2022 salary if the FAAC allocation reach N700billion.

“Secondly, we recommended that a joint committee between the State Government and the Labour should be set up to go for fact finding from neighbouring states like Kaduna, Jigawa, Bauchi and Sokoto to find out how they cope to augment the payment of salary even when there is low distribution of FAAC allocation across the country because we never hear from these states that workers’ salary are reduced based on shortfall in the allocation.

“Thirdly, that government intensify efforts on the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR and try to avoid all leakages so that, that surplus could be used to augment whatever deficit in the payment of salary henceforth and the government should also imbibe the culture of saving and as such could help in situation like this and in payment of pension.

“But alas! They agreed with the second and third recommendations but refused to accept the first one which stated that the deducted amount from workers salary be paid subsequently since the FAAC too will not reimburse them.

“In line with these, we want to inform all workers in the State and the general public that the NLC and all leaders of other unions in the State disassociate itselves from this decision.

“We have have written to the national body and call on all workers to remain calm while we await further directives,” Minjibir however stated.

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