Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Tuesday inaugurated a 17-man committee for the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30,000 for workers in the state.
It was reported that the inauguration ceremony was held at the Banquet hall, Government House, Lokoja.
The governor appreciated the leadership of the organised labour union for their cooperation, patience, guidance and collaboration in setting a reformed civil service in the state.
Bello also commended Kogi workforce for their understanding and for bearing whatever pain that came along with the reform system, saying it is for the good and the future of the state.
He further thanked the New Direction Team members especially those who were actively involved in the exercise for their time, sacrifice, creativity and endurance to see that the reform saw the light of the day.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, affirmed that it was another step in the right direction where dialogue remained preferable than confrontation, hence the setting up of the committee,
”It is to simply talk together using fact and figure comparative analysis to be able to agree to terms that would guide both parties regarding the newly increased minimum wage for civil service in Nigeria to the tune of N30,000”.
He noted that he has no doubt that the committee, which comprised the government and the labour, would do justice to the all important exercise.
”Truly, it is expected that there would be divergent views and conflicting information, but at the end of the day, the interest of both sides is to see a better Kogi state, a motivated workforce and a reformed system for the good of all of us.
”We expected that in the presence of those divergence, different figures and views, you must come to a convergent point; all for the interest of our dear state.
”I believe that this would be the outcome at the end of the day,” he said.
The governor later read out the terms of preference that would guide the committee in carrying out their assigned task.
He urged the committee to also be guided by the revenue accruals to the state vis-à-vis its ability to pay the minimum wage.
The governor added that the committee members were expected to start their work immediately and their final report should be ready in the next 30 days
The Chairperson of the Committee, Dr Afolashade Ayoade, appreciated the governor for considering the committee and for the love he has for the civil servants.
Ayoade, who doubles as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), promised that the committee would do their best and work strictly according to the terms of reference, saying they will all smile at the end.
Also present at the inauguration ceremony were the Chairman of Nigeria Laboour Congress (NLC), Comrade Edoka Onu, and his counterpart in Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Ranti Ojo, among others.