Again Niger Workers Reject Salary Cut, Go Spiritual

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By Laleye Dipo

Rising from an emergency meeting held at the Labour House in Minna, Niger State, yesterday, the state workers have again rejected the planned slash in their salaries by the state government, just as the organised labour said it would organise “special prayer session to seek divine intervention in the matter.”

The state government had last week informed labour that it will slash salaries of civil servants by 30 percent and those of local government workers by 40 percent blaming it’s decision on poor revenue receipt from the Federation Account.

In a communique issued at the end of the emergency meeting which was made available to journalists yesterday evening, labour said: “It has also rejected any form of renegotiation of salaries as it is not in tandem with any extant laws of the land.

“The session cautioned Niger State Government to shun the temptation to post slashed salaries to the accounts of the state civil servants, else the organised labour in the state will be left with no other option than to mobilise its members to immediately commence an indefinite strike.”

According to the communique jointly signed by the state Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman, Yakubu Garba, and state Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Tanimu Yunusa, the Congresses hinged their decision in rejecting the salary slash on the fact that “civil servants in Niger State were not part of the beneficiaries of the state COVID-19 palliative because they will continue to enjoy 100 percent salaries as confirmed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in his capacity as the Chairman of Niger State Task Force on COVID-19.”

According to the document, the position of labour was also informed by the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari “had earlier directed the suspension of all forms of deductions from state government allocations to enable the governors meet with the responsibilities of salary payments which is a first line charge.”

The meeting also asked the government to pay withheld salaries for the months of April and May 2020 to certain categories of workers who are still being owed.

The Congress, therefore, resolved to host special prayer session at undisclosed time and venue to ask for divine intervention that will lead to the payment of salaries.