Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kwara State News, The Informant247

There is no strike in Kwara, says Gov AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday, said there is no ongoing strike in the state “as far as the government is concern”, insisting that there is a court order stopping labour from embarking on industrial action.

“There is a court injunction and as far as the government is concerned there is no strike. Everybody should report to work. We will work on how to improve facilities in our state as much as we will pay salary of our workers,” AbdulRazaq said when he visited the dilapidated Banni Community Secondary School in Ilorin.

“As you can see we are having issues with the labour unions in the state. Yes, we’re not saying that we will not pay the minimum wage but (we can only pay) on the scale that is affordable. You can imagine a situation where local governments are earning N2.6bn a month and the salaries are almost exactly the same when you add their other expenses. The unions want an increase (of that) to N3bn. That is N400m per month increase, from where will the local governments get that? So, the consequential increase should not be that much. That’s not affordable because we have to renovate schools, hospitals, road infrastructure, and we are not going to spend 100% of our income on payment of salaries.”

AbdulRazaq called for labour’s understanding and urged them to take advantage of the government’s transparency and good faith in its dealing with the workers even during the recent lockdown.

“Negotiation is an ongoing thing. No door is shut for negotiation. We can always talk with one another,” he added.

He further said the state’s treasury is too lean to accommodate the demands of the labour unions which the governor said would consume its entire resources.

He disclosed that while the government is willing to pay the minimum wage, as has been enacted by the parliament, it cannot afford the huge chunk that would go into paying the consequential adjustments for the senior cadres.

“If we accede to the request of the labour, we will not be able to do any other thing other than paying workers. Our schools have collapsed; the basic health facilities need to be fixed; and we need to do much more for the rest of the population too,” he said.

Recall that THE INFORMANT247 earlier reported that the organised labour in Kwara state commenced industrial actions, following the state government’s failure to honour its ultimatum on the payment of the new minimum wage.

The labour leaders had given the state government 14-day ultimatum to start payment of the new national minimum wage at a press conference in Ilorin on September 28.

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