From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

Kebbi State Governor Dr Nasir Idris has pledged to ensure workers in the state receive a better minimum wage that reflects the current economic situation. He emphasised that his administration would not treat workers as second-class citizens.

Addressing workers at the Haliru Abdul Stadium in Birnin Kebbi during the Workers’ Day celebration, Idris acknowledged the need for a revised minimum wage but stressed the importance of careful consideration and collaboration. He stated that a committee, including the Head of Service, Alhaji Sofiyyanu Garba Bena, and labour leaders, would be formed to determine a workable minimum wage.

“I don’t want to make any pronouncements on the new minimum wage without involving labour leaders,” Idris said. “We shall set up a committee and work out a workable minimum wage.”

The governor highlighted his administration’s commitment to timely salary payments for workers, pensioners, and gratuity recipients. He also mentioned the ongoing construction of a state secretariat to accommodate all government offices.

Idris further announced the payment of N986 million for school fees of indigenous students, N995 million for student result releases, and over N501 million for the school fees of students studying in India and Egypt. He assured that these students would be absorbed into the state civil service upon their return.

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He urged workers to remain loyal, dedicated, and committed to their duties.

NLC Kebbi State Chairman, Murtala Usman, commended Governor Idris for his worker-friendly approach and responsiveness to their concerns. However, he criticised the federal government’s policies, particularly the fuel subsidy removal, for negatively impacting workers and the economy.

Usman questioned the lengthy process for determining a new minimum wage compared to the swift implementation of fuel subsidy removal. He emphasised the importance of consulting labour leaders before making such significant decisions.

He commended the Kebbi State government for settling outstanding pensions and gratuities, including those from 2017 and 2018, and for addressing the concerns of health workers, including clearing allowances and addressing salary discrepancies.

NLC Vice-Chairman and State Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Nursing and Midwifery, Kelani Abdulwaliyu, acknowledged the government’s efforts in addressing the concerns of health workers, including clearing allowances and addressing salary discrepancies. He also praised the governor’s commitment to removing the dichotomy between federal and state health worker salaries.