Niger State Government has commenced payment of November salaries on percentage. Civil Servants in the State are reporting the receipt of about 70% of their expected wages, this is despite the resolution of the Organized Labour on the contrary.
Salary cut in Niger State has become habitual. The State Government unleashes the claws of percentage payment each time there is drop in FAAC. The pain is not the percentage payment itself, rather the reckless disposition of the Government. Niger State Government has developed penchant for disparaging the Organized Labour. It is such that the Government embarks on anything contrary to Organized Labour’s position and this calls for concern.
There is no gainsaying, the Government of Niger State is out to provoke the Organized Labour, and the Government is stepping it further by way of tacitly chronicling their adventure of fallacies on the general public.
The State Government is entangled in the web of half information, we are inundated with half Statistics for God knows why. The Government has refused to explicitly mention what accrued to the State as income, other than FAAC.
Whatever the misgiving, it is wrong for Niger State Government to effect payment of salaries on percentage, while engagement on issues relating to same is ongoing. That singular act is an affront on Niger State civil servants, and every discerning mind must rise to condemn the ugly posture of the Government.
That this is coming from a government that has been struggling tooth and nail to disprove public opinion on many of its inadequacies is disturbing. The Government is embarking on another expedition to further weaken the civil service that drives our economy.
More disturbing is the lame arithmetic from Commissioner of Information, which is suggestive of Niger State Government prioritizing Security related expenditure over payment of salaries. And we ask the Hon. Commissioner of Information, if Security is more important than payment of salaries, is buying exotic cars for members of traditional council in September, all Members of State House of Assembly, and members of Executive Council (Commissioners) amongst others, more important than security?
Furthermore, the acclaimed government expenditures that gulped over 1.8 billion Naira from the FAAC, are they more important than the salaries of the workers?
Possibly, the Hon. Commissioner of Information, despite being a Muslim, may be unaware of the saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam), that labourers should be paid their wages in full before their sweat get dried.
Moreso, the Hon. Commissioner of Information may also be unaware of the contract terms of employment and our extant laws that prohibits an employer from arbitrarily tempering with employees salaries without an agreement reached with Organized Labour officials.
However, we understands the constraints of the Hon. Commissioner of Information, as he is to always propagate in good light, both half-truths and fallacies of the Government, just to keep his job at the expense of whatever.
For the Organized Labour, the government can exert their power and authority, but same is temporary, even in this world, and all actions shall be judged according to intention in the day of reckoning where Almighty God will be the final arbiter.
Niger State Government is propagating distractive rhetorics, all aimed at pitching the public against the Organized Labour and by extension the civil servants. Fortunately, we are very much aware of this obsolete antics.
In view of the foregoing, It has become expedient for the Organized Labour to act in all manners permissible by law in other to defend the interest of its members.
This is a democratic society, as such, no one should act god and autocratic, particularly on issue that requires mutual consent.
Bello Ibrahim is a media aide to the NLC chairman, Niger State.