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Akwa Ibom expresses willingness to pay new minimum wage

Akwa Ibom State governor Udom Emmanuel has said the state government was willing to pay its civil servants the  proposed new minimum wage when enacted into law.

“Minimum wage has never been an issue, it is just that it has been a matter of legislation. We are waiting for directions from the Federal government, once the direction is given, we will pay,” Udom said during a consultation with the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, United Labour and other unions in Uyo.

Currently, Nigeria’s minimum wage for its workers is at N18,000. But the Nigerian Government said most states were incapable of paying the proposed N30,000 minimum wage.

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However, Udom, who noted that labour was essential to the development of the country, said workers should not be deprived of a new minimum wage.

“Labour is the key to development. You cannot relegate labour to the background.”

“I have demonstrated capacity yesterday and can look into the future. I am here today because you people have strengthened me to be here and made it possible for me to be here, and we can talk and negotiate. I thank labour for the fantastic relationship between the labour and us,” Udom said.

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He stated that “In the face of circumstances and what we face in this country, I have done my best to make sure that workers do not suffer. I pay salaries in circumstances that I do not receive the allocation. You did not elect me to make excuses but to find solution to problems.

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Udom urged the labour unions to support the government for the actualisation of policies and programmes.

NLC chairman in Akwa Ibom State comrade Etim Ukpong, who commended the governor’s reception, “there had been no labour restiveness in Akwa Ibom State because you are working with people who can manage the situation.”

“Your coming gives us the satisfaction that we are working with somebody who understands the meaning of labour union. We welcome you here, you saw how the labour leaders welcomed you.”

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