WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
The Executives of the labour unions in Ekiti State at the weekend urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to use the Paris Club refund to pay workers’ salary arrears, gratuities and pensions.
The union leaders said that the labour would be interested in the usage of the money once it is paid by the Federal government.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti, Comrades Sola Adigun and Kolapo Olatunde of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) respectively, said that minimum wage was a law and Ekiti State government must prove to the whole world that it can pay it.
The labour leaders said that Paris Club refund provides another opportunity for government to clear the backlog of unpaid salaries, saying that although the arrears were inherited from the previous administration, government is a continuum.
Adigun who said that the issue of minimum wage ought to have been dealt with three years ago, declared that: “We don’t want delay tactics, we want to appeal to the Federal government that before the end of May, the guidelines and the template must be ready.
“This is what the states are using as excuse to delay the payment of the minimum wage to their workers.”
On the rumour that market women were already gearing up to increase prices of commodities, the union leaders appealed to Ekiti royal fathers to appeal to the market women not to increase the prices of their goods and services.
“Thirty thousand naira is just pittance; we appeal to them not to increase price so that workers can have real values for their wages.”
The NLC chairman urged the Federal government to guide its sources of revenue jealously.
“We can refine our crude oil locally. The income from the ports alone can finance Nigeria’s budget not to talk of money from petrol; if the needful is done, we can pay the minimum wage.”