By Nakanda Iyadim
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has again expressed his willingness to implement the new N30,000 minimum wage.
Ayade restated his commitment to the implementation of the new minimum wage when the new leadership of the State Executive Council of Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC), led by its Chairman, Comrade Ben Ukpepi paid him a courtesy visit recently.
The governor told the visiting Labor leaders that the welfare of workers remains sacrosanct under his administration.
“For the new minimum wage, as soon as the schedule is worked out by the Federal Government, I will ask us to reconvene and agree on the way forward because I believe that as a team and as family we can always find a common ground and work it out”, the governor said.
Continuing, he said: “I have no intention not to implement the minimum wage because the salaries are too poor to carry you. So, I have no objection about payment of minimum wage but don’t also forget that you have a responsibility to ask the federal government to reduce their own side of 55 percent in the allocation formula because if you take our state for instance, which is number 35th in the country in terms of allocation and the new minimum wage is paid, we will definitely get stuck to each other. So, we need to work together for its implementation.”
Pledging not to sack any worker to be able to pay the new minimum wage, the governor thanked labor for its support for him during governorshiop election.
“I have always said that I am committed to pay within the limit of our resources. I have no plan to retrench and will never sack because it’s not in my nature to do so. You need to agree with me on how the implementation will be done.
“Let me thank you for your massive support during my re-election. I must say that Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) was a major force to my overwhelming success at the poll and in reciprocating this gesture and as a show of gratitude, I will continue to work and cooperate with you as partner in progress for industrial harmony in the state.”
Ayade said his victory at the polls was a product of his determination to reinvent the state.
Earlier, Comrade Ukpepi congratulated the governor on his victory at the polls describing it as victory for the workers and ordinary Cross Riverians.
The NLC chairman assured the governor that the organized labor will remain a strong pillar and committed partner to the development of the state.
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