Refund workers’ 50% salary cut now, Niger Assembly orders governor

By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna

Niger State House of Assembly has rejected the decision by the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, to cut salaries of civil servants and therefore ordered the governor to refund the 50 percent salary cut in the previous months or to face the consequences of his actions.

The Chairman, Niger State House of Assembly Committee on Labour and Productivity, Abdulmalik Madaki, who condemned the decision by Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello to cut workers’ salary by 50 percent, said that it was unlawful and inhumane.

Madaki said while addressing journalists on the issue, “No one has the right to tamper with the salaries of civil and public workers”.

According to him, “Slashing workers’ salary at whatever percent amounts to gross violation of the Law and Labour Act. Our salary is based on law. The same way civil servants’ salaries were slashed was the same way salaries of legislators were slashed into two. This is unacceptable”.

Madaki argued that, “Issues of salary to the different categories of workers in any setting are regulated by the laws and someone cannot just wake up one morning and decide to reduce the salaries by 50 percent without consultations with the House of Assembly”.

The Labour and Productivity chairman further expressed surprise at the affront and wondered what Governor Bello did with the N14.6 billion bailout funds from the Federal Government few months ago of which he was expected to use part of the said amount to settle workers’ salaries.

“At the inception of this administration, the House of Assembly granted an approval for the state government to access a loan of N1.8 billion to enable it settle arrears of salary for local government councils which were inherited from the previous administration”.

The Federal Government also offered the state government N4.6 billion bailout loan to augment whatever shortfall from federation accounts of which the House of Assembly approved, Madaki said, as he expressed worry over how all the monies had disappeared.

“If Governor Sani Bello now claimed that the state has N3 billion overdrafts from banks, then where is the N4.6 billion?
What was done with it?,” the Labour and Productivity Committee chairman demanded.

Madaki further disclosed: “The sum of N10 billion bailout funds was also granted to the state by the Federal Government to enable it execute some more demanding projects across the state, and we are yet to see the projects”.

Besides all the bailouts and other sources of income to the state, Madaki told journalists that huge suns of monies enter the state coffers daily as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), hence, “The House believes there is no need to cut salaries of public and civil servants by half”.

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