Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has appealed to the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress to shelve its planned strike for peace and industrial harmony.
The organised labour in the state had on January 14 given a 21-day ultimatum to the state government to implement the new N30, 000 minimum wage.
Bello in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Berje, in Minna on Tuesday, said the government was working relentlessly to ensure that all pending issues concerning civil servants were addressed swiftly.
He said that negotiations were still ongoing and the government was doing its best to improve the living standard of the people in spite of the paucity of funds.
Bello explained that the state government had commenced work on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage, assuring that its consequential adjustment and arrears would be paid as soon as the government and labour concluded negotiations.
“We are still negotiating with labour, we intend to avert the industrial action and we are calling on the organised labour to rescind its decision to embark on the strike and allow negotiations to continue,’’ he said.
He explained that key government officials led by the Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, and labour officials would meet to discuss the way forward and the outcome of the meeting would be made public.
Bello noted that though, 85 per cent of the state’s allocation was used for payment of salaries, the government had remained committed to the welfare of the state civil servants and would not relent until an agreement was reached.
The workers are also demanding an adjustment of their salaries based on the new minimum wage and payment of accumulated salary arrears.
The workers are expected to commence an indefinite strike today by 12 midnight if the agreement is not reached between the state government and the organised labour.