Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Adamawa State Government has suspended its plan to begin the payment of consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage, agreed upon with Joint Trade Unions starting this March.
The government said that due to the impact of the coronavirus-imposed economic crunch on its finances, it would have to put on hold to the payment of consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage until the Covid-19 impact subsides.
This was made known in a press release issued by the Director-General, Media and Communications to the Governor, Solomon Kumangar, and made available to newsmen, Tuesday.
The statement explains that it had become imperative that it took the step to enable government to continue to sustain basic public services.
The statement explained, however, that the Adamawa State Government under Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is, however, committed to the welfare of workers in the state and would pay the backlog of the minimum wage when eventually the dust of the Coronavirus economic downturn settles.
The statement said: “The state government wishes to inform the entire labour force that due to the economic crunch imposed by the alarming effects of Covid-19 pandemic, it is unable to pay March salaries, with the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage agreed upon and duly signed with the Joint Trade Unions.
“For the avoidance of doubts, government is irrevocably committed to paying the consequential adjustment with the backlog arrears as soon as the Covid-19 and its negative economic implications abate.
“It should be noted that government decided on this and other cost-saving measures to enable it to undertake basic services.
“Government assures that the welfare of the workforce remains paramount and the centrepiece of governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s cardinal agenda.”
Reacting to the situation, chairman of the labour union in Adamawa, Emmanuel Fashe, said: “We have been officially briefed of the situation by the Adamawa state government and we have had a series of meetings came to an understanding to allow March consequential adjustment to run into arrears.
“To be clear, it is not that it would not be paid but it would be paid with other arrears of the months of January and February.
“It is the situation we found ourselves, the fall in oil prices affected what was coming into the state.”
The Adamawa state government had earlier announced that it would cut down its budget by twenty per cent and initiate other economic measures to cope with the effect of Coronavirus.
Adamawa State has, however, become the first state in the country put on hold the implementation of the minimum wage as a result minimum of the Coronavirus pandemic.