The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, today, represented the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello at the inauguration of the state Committee on N30, 000.00 minimum wage.
In his address at the event, the Deputy Governor said inaugurating the all-important committee was very important to the current administration in its efforts to cement its civil service reforms for the state.
He appreciated and gave gratitude to God Almighty as he went down memory lane to recall how four years ago, the state government under His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the labour leaders and labour unions also had discussions on how to bring the lingering strike actions that preceded Governor Bello’s swearing into a stop.
That came to reality and the civil service reform and reform of the state pension system kicked off in earnest.
“We want to appreciate the labour union for your cooperation, patience, guidance, collaboration in setting an acceptable reform for the state.
“The Governor would also like to appreciate the state workforce, the engine room of the state for its understanding and bearing whatever discomfort that came along with the reform system, believing it was for the good of the state. We appreciate you.
“We also appreciate the New Direction Team members, especially those that were actively involved the exercise for their time, sacrifice, creativity, endurance to see that this reform saw the light of day.
“The Governor believes this is a step in the right direction, believing that dialogue is preferred to confrontation, hence setting up the 17-man committee for simply coming together to talk, using facts, figures, comparative analysis to be able to agree to terms that would guide us as it relates to the new increase in minimum wage for civil service in Nigeria to the tune of N30,000.00.
“There is no doubt in the minds of government that the team set up from the government side and the labour angle would do justice to the exercise.
“There may be divergent views and conflicting information, but the interest should be a better Kogi State, a motivated workforce, a reformed system for the good of all parties involved.
“Therefore, the government believes and expects that there must be a convergent point even in the face of conflicting interests and views in the interest of the state.
“Terms of reference for this committee is as follows:
“1. Obtain and study the National Minimum Wage Amendment Act, 2019 and the Consequential Adjustment at the Federal Level.
“2. Obtain and Study Copies of Agreements Reached between the Federal Government and the organised Labour Union in line with Consequential Adjustment/Increase in all the salary structures.
“3. Liaise with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, if necessary, for Technical Assistance on the implementation of the new minimum wage for the state.
“4. To develop and advise the government on how to successfully bring about a smooth implementation of impending wage increase
“5. Identify new revenue sources as well as areas of existing expenditure from where some savings could be made in order to fund the wage increases without adversely impacting on the development of the state.
“6. Propose a work plan and modalities for the implementation of the salary increases.
“7. Understudy the states that have already commenced the implementation of the new minimum wage for proper guidance, especially those within the central geopolitical zone of the country where we are situated. That includes Nassarawa, Niger, Benue, Plateau and Kwara States.
“8. Any other suggestion that would assist in the implementation of the proposed salary increase.
“9. The committee is to be guided by the revenue accruals to the state vis – a – vis its ability to pay the minimum wage.
The committee, which has 30 days duration to submit its report is being chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Ayoade Folashade Strike with the following membership;
Mrs Folashade Arike Ayoade, PhD – Secretary to the Government of Kogi State – Chairperson
Elder (Mrs.) Deborah Ogunmola, Head of Civil service – Member
Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Sani (SAN), Special Adviser to the Governor of Legal Matters – Member
Hon. Asiwaju Asiru Idris, Special Adviser to the Governor on Finance, Budget and Economic Planning – Member
Engr. Abubakar Ohere Sadiq, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs – Member
Hon. Momoh Jibrin, State Accountant-General – Member
Hon. Okala Yakubu, State Auditor-General – Member
Hon. Usman Ododo, Local Government Auditor-General – Member
Comrade Akeji Yusuf, Chairman Joint Negotiating Council – Member
Comrade Tade Adeyemi, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE). – Member
Comrade I.A Abubakar, Joint Negotiating Council – Member
Comrade Thomas Ayodele, Nigeria Union of Teachers – Member
Comrade Meliga Obaka, Association of Senior Civil Servants – Member
Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Communication Strategy – Member
The Chief of Staff to the Governor Pharmacist Jamiu Asuku in his opening address said the committee became necessary to demonstrate the love Governor has for the civil servants.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the Chairman, Dr Folashade Ayoade promised to meet the terms of reference contained in the assignment.
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kogi State