New minimum wage: NLC rejects offer from Kwara govt

Date: 2020-02-05

The meeting between the labour unions and Kwara government on minimum wage ended in deadlock on Tuesday.

The government made fact-based presentations to the labour unions on what it can afford without going to borrow to pay salary.

However, the governor in a statement signed by Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor said the Labour unions rejected its proposal.

The Governor added that the proposal from labour is 'very scary and hardly sustainable in Kwara state.'

The statement read in part: "The proposal given to Labour unions includes that no worker will earn below the 30,000 minimum wage enacted by the Minimum Wage Act. We also made suggestions on the consequential adjustments as they affect the other cadres.

"Our initial proposal to the labour, which they have rejected, means that Kwara will now spend 85% of its allocation on public sector workers alone, up from the current 75%, while well over 3.450million Kwarans, will struggle with the remaining 15% percent. This is very scary and hardly sustainable if we want to develop."

Abdulrazaq said his adminstration will keep persuading "labour union leaders to temper their demands with the financial realities of the state which they are privy to."

"Indeed, the state government will soon make them a new offer based on the emerging realities of the state. It is important to note that the 2020 budget had been predicated on $57 per barrel of crude oil. But today the price of crude oil has fallen to $54 and that means the financial projection of the country and indeed the state has been seriously altered.

"Nonetheless, we believe that the labour union leaders and indeed the entire work force are patriotic citizens who fully appreciate the peculiar situation of Kwara at the moment. We urge the workers’ unions to kindly see reasons why we cannot afford to go borrowing to pay salary in the face of yawning infrastructural deficits and underdevelopment," the statement added.

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