George Okoh in Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, thursday approved the sum of N30, 009. 95k as new minimum wage for Benue State civil servants.
The special adviser to the governor on Labour and Employment, Chief Ode Enyi, announced this at a press conference in Makurdi, the state capital.
He stated that the governor had earlier setup a negotiation committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Tony Ijoho, that worked harmoniously with labour leaders in the state to arrive at the new wage after series of meetings.
“As you are aware the issue of Benue State is really pathetic and peculiar. Peculiar in the sense that the governor has always emphasised that the N30,000 minimum wage is not even enough to cater for an average family person, but as it is, when you are executing issue which you want to implement, it must also be backed with the ability to execute it, that is the finance.
“However, despite all that, the governor had decided that N30, 009. 99k should be the minimum wage in this state, and it was presented to the labour along with the proposal for the consequential adjustments for the other levels.
“And so every party has agreed that it was a momentous decision and a milestone in the negotiation of minimum wage in the state,” Enyi said.
He explained that the state governor is always ready to tackle issues affecting the welfare of workers in the state with all seriousness, saying the state belongs to all, whether politicians or civil servants.
While disclosing that Benue remains the third highest paying civil service state after Lagos and Rivers States, Enyi stressed that the state government would commence payment of the new wage as soon as the consequential adjustments negotiation for other levels are completed, not minding the initial salary.
According to him, “The approval and willingness to pay this wage is what matters. When you look at the states that have started implementing the new minimum wage, they are not what the Benue State government is currently paying. Now that the new wage has been approved, the consequential adjustments will be discussed with the labour for us to commence immediate payment.”