By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The new chairman of the Agriculture and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria (AAEUN), Kano State Council, Tajouddeen Bashar, has advised the Federal Government and the states to hasten the payment of the controversial hazard allowance to workers in the sector.
Bashar gave the advice in an interview after his victory at the 2nd Quadrennial Delegate Conference held in Kano, and added that workers in the sector deserve the allowance because of the danger they face in the course of doing their jobs.
He disclosed that, although the Salary, Income and Wages Commission was presently looking into their demand on the hazard payment, it should however hasten up its assignment.
He pointed out workers in the sector should be given the same prominent attention accorded to their counterparts in the petroleum and gas sector if the government was actually serious in its desire to return to agriculture as the main revenue earner for the nation.
The AAEUN chairman said the prompt adoption and payment of the allowance would further encourage members of his union to put in their best while discharging their duties.
Bashar explained that, “It is important for the Federal Government and the various state governments to do something promptly about our demands as regards the payment of hazard allowance.
“Though, the Salary, Income and Wages Commission is presently handling the issue, I must confess it is very slow in arriving at a decision on it. What we are also saying is that the Federal and state governments should consider the importance of agriculture to our national economy”, he added.
According to him, “If they are really serious about returning agriculture as the mainstay our national economy, they should do everything to encourage the stakeholders in the sector, especially the workers just as they treat those in the oil sector.
The chairman therefore lamented that agriculture, which the nation used to rely on before the discovery of petroleum, has been neglected for too long.
“As far as we know, the oil wells will dry up in fifty years time, but our lands will continue to remain fertile, as it has over the years. So, it is only reasonable to ensure that agriculture takes its proper place in the scheme of things”, he further charged.
According to the Kano State Secretary of the AAEUN, Comrade Usman Gaddafi, other members of the new state administrative council that emerged at the quadrennial conference include Sani Danladi (Vice Chairman), Salisu Mohammed Dogara (Treasurer), Binta Shuaibu (Women Coordinator), Abba Gana Yamani (Trustee), Garba Musa Kofarmata (Auditor) and Auwalu Musa Shayi as Welfare Officer.