By Busola Samuel
Sokoto State Government, in its natural character, has agreed to pay the N30,000 minimum wage to workers on its payroll but with a clear message on the need to ascertain no ghost worker is in the system.
This was contained in a statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mallam Muhammad Bello, sent to The DEFENDER on Thursday.
To achieve this, the government reiterated that it would embark “on a wide scale verification exercise to weed out ghost workers, child workers and bogus employment offers syndicates,” Bello said in the statement.
Governor of the state, Dr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal disclosed this Thursday evening at the signing and submission of a report by the committee on implementation of the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments, which he set up to thrash out the matter.
The governor’s spokesman said the wage bill of Sokoto State will now be above N324 million as against the sum of N340 million requested for by labour union collective in the state.
Announcing that the his administration will commence implementation of the minimum wage from this month (January), Governor Tambuwal scheduled a meeting of the state executive council for Monday (13th January, 2020) to consider the report.
According to him, the government is poised to “embark on the verification of unscheduled staff and the sharp practice of sale of letters offers of employment to unwary citizens,” stressing also that “a situation where children are on the payroll of the government will not be condoned.”
Prior to the negotiation that ushered in the new wage regime, the state government had discovered a disparity in the salary data between the state Civil Service Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the the Office of the Head of Service.
“This made me to look into the situation and we decided to harmonize all the data,” leading up to the taking of steps to introduce the issuance of payslips to workers, “a first in the history of the state,” Governor Tambuwal explained.
As he promised to pay all the workers owed backlogs of salary as a result of the meticulous process of the fiscal discipline measures embarked upon by the government, the governor commended the labour collective and those on the government side who sat in the committee for their maturity, patience and patriotism to the people of the state.
In his remarks, the chairman of the minimum wage implementation, Alhaji Muhammad Namadina Abdulrahman, summarized the suggestions of the committee to the state government as “salary and skills assessment of staff, decentralization of salary payments and the establishment of a revenue generation system by the state government.