Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has charged the State Negotiating Committee on National Minimum Wage to work in the overall interest of Benue people rather that be embroiled in war with one another.
The governor who gave the advice on Tuesday at the inauguration of the committee in Makurdi, Benue State capital stated that the committee has a serious duty in negotiating what will eventually become a salary structure for Benue civil service and its parastatals.
Represented by the state department governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, the governor posited that the committee is a think tank and platform for analysis to be carried out and compromise reached in the interest of Benue people.
He said the job of the committee will, in the long run, ensure that effective and efficient civil service, promotes cordial relationship between labour and government, adding that it will make or mar the state government in many years as far as the civil service of the dtate is concerned.
“I urge you to take the assignment seriously, be dutiful and committed. Information from the Ministry of Finance would be critical in this assignment. You should reach out beyond the state to be abreast with what obtains in other states.
“I advise you to carry the workers along. You should listen to the labour’s side, labour should also, listen to government’s side. We cannot float in vacuum but fly with the realities on ground. When you have a government that only pays salary and finds it absolutely difficult to embark on developmental projects, then the salary is meaningless.
In his response on the part of government, the Chairman and Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Tony Ijohor, while noting that the committee has the potential to make the administration succeed or not, promised that it’s members would do their best in the overall interest of the people.
“We will be fair and take into consideration peculiarities of Benue State. We are not going to war. It is a give and take thing. We will be thorough and guided by the overall interest of the state.
Also speaking, the chairman, Joint Negotiation Council, Comrade Ojema Ojotu assured that labour would be considerate and cooperate maximally during the negotiations.
He urged to the state government to provide a conducive atmosphere to the committee in terms of openness, fairness, flexibility devoid of intimidation.