Kano state government has said that it would not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage for the month of March due to a shortfall in the monthly federal allocation.
It said though it has never dithered in the payment of workers’ salary since its inception given the present financial situation, it would find it difficult to implement the consolidated salary for the month of March, which is though a temporary measure.
The state commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who made the assertion in a statement, on Monday, explained that the drop in federal allocation for the period under review has made it difficult for the government to implement the new salary package.
Malam Garba said for the month of March, the state government received a total allocation of N12, 400, 000, 000 billion from the federation account, out of which the state collected N6, 100, 000, 000, 000 billion, while the 44 local governments collected the sum of N6, 300, 000, 000 billion.
The commissioner explained that for the state government to pay the consolidated wages to its workers, it needs additional billions of naira which is currently not available.
He pointed out that at its meeting with the labour union in May 2020, there was an understanding that government would pay workers’ salaries based on a percentage of the total disbursement received.
Solacebase recalls that the labour unions are threatening an industrial strike over the failure of the state government to meet its conditions before the workers’ salary deduction in March.
The demand on the side of labour for any deduction to take place from the salary of any worker in the state, including seeing the government book of accounts, the total workforce of public servants (both state and local government), actual total wage bills for state workers (both state and local government), number of political office holders ( both state and local governments)and total wage bill for political office holders( State and local government).
Other demands are, the shortfall of salary payment for March 2021, Nov. and Dec. 2020 and January 2021 state deduction, Nov. and Dec. 2020 and January 2021 state and local government pensions deductions, that refund of deductions from March 2021, salaries should be with a time frame (within 3 months April to June 2021) by Kano State Government and payment of pending 8 months salary arrears and the balance of two months 50% deducted should be paid within 6 months from May-November, 2021 and deduction must cut across all workers including political office holders and all permanent secretaries.
Also, Malam Garba recalled that in November/December, last year, a similar necessary but temporary measure was adopted in the payment of workers’ salary as a result of the shortage to keep the government going which was, however, reversed for the months of January and February, after the situation improved.
The commissioner further recalled that Kano was the first among the few states in the federation to agree to the implementation of the minimum wage without any hesitation which should have been put into consideration by the organized labour.
He noted that given the situation, the organised labour ought to have reasoned with the government because embarking on strike won’t in any way solve the problem.
Malam Garba passionately enlisted the support and cooperation of the labour union and the entire workforce in general to maintain a good working relationship with the government in the interest of industrial harmony.
He further assured workers in the state that they would continue to receive the new package as soon as the situation improves.