The Enugu State government has disclosed that it approved the report of the joint committee of labour and the state government, set up by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for negotiation of the consequential adjustment of the N30,000 minimum wage for the state civil servants, because of its commitment to workers’ welfare and the entire citizens of the state.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, who confirmed the state government’s approval of the consequential adjustment for payment of N30,000 minimum wage to all state civil servants, with effect from February, 2020, stated the decision was also as a result of the harmonious relationship between the state government and labour.
The organized labour’s state leadership, led by Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe, had earlier announced that the State Executive Council, after a meeting with the union, approved the consequential adjustment for payment of the new minimum wage to all civil servants in the state.
Comrade Igbokwe who disclosed that labour is comfortable with the decision reached, added that the EXCO’s approval was a product of collective bargaining between labour and the state government.
Noting that this is the first time labour was involved in the issue of minimum wage negotiation, he commended the governor for his inclusive governance style and sustained commitment to workers’ welfare.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune, stated that the consequential adjustment approved by the council was provided for in the 2020 budget.
Mrs. Uyanwune explained that after presentation of the budget to the state Assembly, which was approved by the House and signed by the governor, a committee was set up to review and look into the consequential adjustment for civil servants.
The finance commissioner added that a technical committee was also set up to look in-depth into the figures based on the economic indices of the state, saying: “We had to look at our income, expenditures, internally generated revenue, among others,” to arrive at the consequential adjustment, which cuts across board from Grade level 1 to 17.
She maintained that the state government observed all these considerations to ensure the sustainability of payment of the new minimum wage, considering that Gov. Ugwuanyi is a promise- keeping governor.
According to her, “we needed to be sure that whatever adjustment we are making and the approval we are seeking will be sustained by Enugu State government. This is because the welfare of the citizens of Enugu State is at the heart of the state government.”