By Ishowo Olanrewaju.
Your Excellency Sir,
I was quite uncomfortable with the news I read this morning in respect to how Kwara State Government was among the 19 states that are yet to meet their labour leaders in advancing round table dialogue on how to fast track the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage.
Sir, you have to show readiness to pay the new wage because it is a law that binds on all the Governors and the President by extension. We can see how the Federal Government has shown ultimate readiness to commence payment this December. Besides, states like Kaduna, Zamfara, Adamawa, Kogi, Lagos etc have commenced payment, as a few of them have even vowed to pay beyond the approved N30,000.
The last time I checked, the records confirmed that former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed was among the first batch of Governors that paid the N18,000 minimum wage for workers in the state and local government despite the unquantified criticism levelled against his administration by the then opposition elements now today’s government. I want to state it with all sense of sincerity that no Kobo has been added to it by this administration and the handwriting on the wall is not impressive despite the change of government that is almost 7 months old.
Of course, there were mixed reactions on why the consequential adjustments seriously affected the workers between Level 7 and 14 as far back as 2011. But up till now, no serious effort has been put in place to correct this, therefore, the status quo remains. The question is, how much longer should workers in those categories continue to be marginalized?
Interestingly, the new administration led by Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq has promised to declare state of emergency on our education sector, and part of which is the assurance of giving a befitting cum enabling environment for learning to take place. In fact, 31 schools have been penciled down to attract a new look inline with the promise made by His Excellency. This is indeed a welcome development.
However, prioritizing massive rehabilitation for the learning environment and other ministries without taking cognizance of the workers’ welfare is like buying a beautiful car without having a commensurate source of maintenance. That is, the rehabilitation will not have serious impact in the long run on the students because their teachers and other civil servants are not well motivated.
Let me use this singular opportunity to welcome the Honourable Commisssioners on board and I hope their call to serve will yield massive oriented results in our civil service. I believe you will come up with policies of public importance to help His Excellency galvanize the affairs of the state. Kindly use your persuasive initiatives on His Excellency, to open windows of discussion with the labour unions in the state.
May Kwara Succeed.
Ishowo Olanrewaju writes from Ilorin