11th October, 2011
Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam has said there is no conflict between his administration and labour over the N18,000 minimum wage, assuring that he will pay it.
He said the leadership of labour in the state and his administration had reached an agreement in this regard when some miscreants decided to capitalise on it to politicise the issue and cause disaffection among workers.
He reiterated the commitment of government to commence the implementation of the new wage in November and sued for co-operation in that regard.
The governor also promised to drop charges against some labour members who were arrested for inciting public disturbance.
â€œI will drop the charges against them. Government will commence implementation of the new minimum wage in November 2011. I will not sign an agreement and joke about it. I want to assure Benue workers that I will keep my word,â€ he maintained.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Waheed Omar had appealed to Suswam not to renege on his promise of paying the new minimum, just as they agreed that there were some issues regarding the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state.
Omar had urged Governor Suswam to honour the November date for the implementation of the new minimum wage as well as drop charges against some union members who were arrested recently.
He made the appeal when other officials were on a courtesy visit to the governor at Government House, Makurdi.
Waheed, who was represented by Comrade Uchenna Ekwe, head of International Relations and Liaison officer of NLC, lauded Governor Suswam for the agreement reached with labour in the state which he noted ranks among the best in the country.
The NLC helmsman also urged Benue workers to be calm and support government in ensuring the full implementation of the new minimum wage.
By Ubong George/Markurdi