Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has assured that the new minimum wage of N30,000 will not pose any problem for the state government to pay as, according him, workers deserve even more.
The governor, yesterday, said while on consultation with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), United Labour and other affiliated unions, the state government is only waiting for the Federal Government to approve the new minimum wage, so it could be implemented.
He said labour is the bedrock of development in any nation and commended the unions for their support, so far, adding that he has fulfilled his promises to the unions.
He said: “Labour is the key to development. You cannot relegate labour to the background.
“Minimum wage has never been an issue, it is just that it has been a matter of legislation. We are waiting for directions from the federal government, once the direction is given, we will pay.
“In the face of circumstances I’ve done my best to make sure workers do not suffer. I pay salaries in circumstances that I do not receive allocation. You did not elect me to make excuses, but to find solution to problems.
“I’ve demonstrated capacity and can look into the future. I’m here today because you people have strengthened me to be here, and made it possible for me to be here, and we can talk and negotiate. I thank labour for the fantastic relationship between the labour and us.
“The Peoples’ Democratic Party has the best blueprint for workers in the country. We need your support in the usual manner to support us in the coming election. Today is the day for consultation. I want to thank God for the leadership of the labour and for this state. It is not in every state that labour sits like this with the governor.”
The state Chairman of NLC, Etim Ukpong, described Labour as a very economically and socially variable group, adding that he was happy the governor knows Labour has given him support.