By Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Government has approved the payment of N30,000 as the minimum wage to its workers.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor Muhammad Bello on Thursday said the state government has reiterated the need to embark on a wide scale verification exercise to weed out ghost workers, child workers and bogus employment offers syndicates.
Muhammad further stated that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Thursday evening signed the report presented to him by the Implementation Committee on New Minimum Wage and Consequential Adjustments which was established to come up with strategies and implementation of the new wage.
The monthly wage bill of the state will now be above N324 million as against the sum of N340 million requested by organised labour in the state.
Tambuwal announced that his administration will commence the payment of the minimum wage from January and has scheduled a meeting of the state executive council for Monday to consider the report.
According to him, the government is poised to “embark on the verification of unscheduled staff and the sharp practice of sale of letters offers of employment to unwary citizens,” stressing that “a situation where children are on the payroll of the government will not be condoned”.
Prior to the negotiation that ushered in the new wage regime, the state government had discovered a disparity in the salary data between the state civil service commission, the ministry of finance and the office of the head of service.
“This made me to look into the situation and we decided to harmonize all the data,” leading to the taking of steps to introduce the issuance of payslips to workers, “a first in the history of the state,” Tambuwal had explained.
As he promised to pay all the workers owed salary arrears as a result of the meticulous process of the fiscal discipline measures embarked upon by the government, the governor commended organised labour and those on the government side who sat in the committee for their maturity, patience and patriotism to the people of the state.
The Chairman of the Minimum Wage Implementation Committee, Alhaji Muhammad Namadina Abdulrahman, had summarized the suggestions of the committee to the state government as “salary and skills assessment of staff, decentralization of salary payments and the establishment of a revenue generation system by the state government”.