Ekiti State government has said it will not slash the minimum wage it is paying its workforce despite the financial challenges it is grappling with.
The government said the idea was to ensure the smooth payment of salaries, saying government mighty decentralise the payment system.
Expressing the view at the weekend when he went on sensitisation tour
of Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ekiti South-west Local Government areas, Governor Ayodele Fayose said the current minimum wage of N18,000 was grossly inadequate and that any slash would not augur well for the workers and their dependants.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the governor said the state government would work out ways that the government and labour unions would agree on the mode of payment.
The governor, who first visited Igede-Ekiti, said there was no point hiding the financial situation of the state government from the workers.
“I am enjoying your grace for returning me to office and I am not going to take the grace for granted. A governor who hides the true position of things from his people is only deceiving himself. The power of the people is greater than that of the leader.
“I won’t reduce workers’ salaries. The N18,000 minimum wage is even not enough. I will never hold your money one day extra. The shortfall in the bailout fund will be redressed,” he said.
The governor also added that a unit would be set up in the governor’s office to look into complaints about workers’ welfare.
Some workers who contributed said instead of paying workers in batches, statutory allocations for two months could be merged for all workers to be paid at once.
At Ilawe-Ekiti, following complaints by some workers in the delay in getting their salaries when paid, the governor said a team of experts would be constituted to look at the possibility of decentralising the payment system.
Governor Fayose noted that the need for workers to come to Ado-Ekiti whenever they had complaints about their salaries would be reduced if the system was decentralised, as he promised to also look into the welfare of pensioners, saying as soon as the federal government releases the remainder of the bailout funds concerning their issue, they would be paid.