Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has described as unfortunate the strike embarked upon by the state civil servants, insisting that the action was inimical to the development of the state.
In a statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Bello, Jibrin Baba Ndace, he said the labour unions were “unnecessarily rigid”.
The governor was quoted to have said this while speaking at an enlarged meeting of the state executive council.
He said the new salary regime was not unilaterally arrived at but “was carefully reached after wide consultations with all stakeholders and in the interest of the state”.
“I had a meeting with the labour and I gave details of our incomes, the on-going developmental projects and why we have to sacrifice today for the future of our children, who are leaders tomorrow but from the action of the workers it is clear that they are only interested in their salary alone.
“They are not bordered about the state of our schools, all the labour wants is for us to use all we have for their salaries. I told them that we have to attend to the critical areas as highlighted in our cardinal priority programmes. That is why we are fixing our schools in Izom, Bida, at Maryam Babangida Girls, Bosso, Kutigi, Kontagora and Rijau. The work in these schools are there for all to see.
“I have made it categorically clear that the 70/30 percent ration is not a policy. It is a temporary arrangement. If tomorrow our FAAC is increases, workers take home will also increase.
“I have no intention to punish anybody. If I have a revenue of N5 billion, I will gladly pay the N2.4 billion wage bill and I still have what to work with. Of what gain is it to me to deny workers their pay?” the governor asked.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.