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Niger govt, labour union reach truce over salary

The Niger State Government has agreed to pay, in full, the salary of its workers for the month of May this year.

This followed a meeting between it and organised labor officials on how to resolve the dwindling income of the state from the Federation Account and other sources.

It was gathered that at the meeting, held on Tuesday, the government accepted the position of labor that full salaries should be paid to all workers, while negotiation on how to pay salaries for the remaining months of the year would commence.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the government had been engaged in a series of meetings over the plan by government to reduce workers’ salaries or downsize the workforce, or in the alternative alternate the payment of salaries.

Another option which the government reportedly put before workers’ representatives was for the senior civil servants from grade level 12 to forfeit their pay for some time with a promise that they would be paid when the economy improved.

The government had said that it was no longer in a position to borrow to pay workers’ salaries, following a decline in the monthly amount it received from the Federation Account – the major source of funding for the state.

It was learnt that after the April Federation Account Allocation meeting, the state got only N600 million before the commissioners for Finance were again invited where the state got additional N1billion.

It was gathered that the state government would borrow another N600 million to put its total indebtedness of the state on salary augmentation alone at N3bn.

Following the agreement with workers’ representatives it was gathered that salary payment to all category of workers would commence today (Thursday).

The Chairman of the NLC in the state, Comrade Yahaya Idris Ndako, when contacted confirmed the story.

He said that negotiations on how to fund the payment of salaries from June this year would commence between government and labor on Thursday, next week.

“We have partially reached an agreement, payment of salaries should start between Thursday and Friday; we will continue negotiation next week”, he said.

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