Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has charged members of the Negotiating Committee on National Minimum Wage to discharge their duty in the overall interest of the state.
Ortom gave the advice, yesterday, at the inauguration of the committee in Makurd. He urged the committee to avoid being embroiled in war with one another as it had a duty of negotiating what would eventually become the salary structure for the civil service and its parastatals.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, described the committee as a think tank and platform for analysis that would work and ensure a compromise in the interest of Benue people.
He said the job of the committee would ensure effective and efficient civil service, promote cordial relationship between labour and government.
“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. Carry the workers along. You should listen to labour; and labour should also listen to government.
“We cannot float in vacuum, but fly with 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,” he said.
Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Tony Ijohor who is chairman of the committee noted it had the potential to make the administration succeed or fail. He promised that they would do their best in the 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,” he said.
Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council, Ojema Ojotu assured that labour would be considerate and cooperate maximally with government during the negotiations.
He urged to the state to provide a conducive atmosphere for the committee to work in terms of openness, fairness, flexibility devoid of intimidation.