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Benue ready to implement N30,000 minimum wage

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Benue State government has said that it is ready to implement a N30,000 minimum wage for civil servants in the state from Grade Level 01-06 starting December 2020.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Tony Ijohor, disclosed this after a joint meeting between the state government and labour leaders in the state on Thursday at the Government House, Makurdi.

Also, he said that the state government and labour had agreed to keep the N30,000 minimum wage implementation for Grade Level 7 and above on hold until the payroll was cleaned up.

He said: “For Level 7 and above, there are certain issues. We are trying to clean up the payroll. There are certain persons who are taking certain allowances, which they are not entitled to. That’s one of the things and it is ongoing.

“We are taking into consideration all the factors and we have resolved that Level 7 and above has to be stepped down for now.”

However, Chairman, State Negotiation Council, Ojema Ojotu reacting to the N30,000 minimum wage implementation, said “An offer was given to us, which we rejected. The offer was that of course for Grade Level 1-6, we all agreed. We adopted the same chat the Federal Government is using. That’s the chat we are using for Grade Level 1-6.

Read also: Benue council worker sets self ablaze over unpaid salaries

But for that of Grade Level 7 and above, the offer was that N500 would be given at flat rate to all the categories of workers. When we looked at that, we said it was unrealistic.

“Of course, when we met the governor today, he raised two fundamental issues; the downfall of monthly allocation and of course, he told us that a committee had been put in place to clean up the payroll.

“And that’s a big concern to us because we have been having a situation where the wage bill has remained the way it is even though people are retiring massively.

“They have given us assurance that mechanism has been put in place to ensure that they clean up the payroll and when they are done with that, certainly, a lot of money will be saved,” Ojotu said.

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