Politics

Mixed feelings, anxiety as workers expect new minimum wage

…Workers in Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Abia, Benue, Niger kick over non-implementation of old N30,000 wage

 

By Omoniyi Salaudeen (Lagos), Desmond Mgboh (Kano), Noah Ebije (Kaduna), Okey Sampson (Umuahia), Scholastica Hir (Benue), John Adams (Minna), Ighomuaye Lucky (Benin), Tony John (Port Harcourt), and Jude Chinedu (Enugu), George Onyejiuwa (Owerri), Emmanuel Uzor (Awka), Priscilla Ediare (Ado-Ekiti), and Wilson Okereke (Afikpo)

 

 

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By guile and intrigue, the Federal Government has virtually suppressed and weakened the power of protest and the bargaining strength of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and it allied union, the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Owing to the hardship of the economy arising from the policies of the government, negotiation for a new national minimum wage is currently ongoing. But from the outset, the ensuing dialogue between the tripartite committee set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to review the N30,000 minimum wage to align with economic realities in the country and the organized labour has been characterized by suspicion and lack of mutual trust.

The inauguration of the committee in January followed the hardship of fuel subsidy removal, dwindling value of the naira and high food inflation, which have practically eroded the purchasing power of salary earners. Last week, during the Workers’ Day celebration, there was high expectation that the government would make good its words to unveil a new salary structure for civil servants based on the recommendation  of the 37-member committee. Regrettably, it was another dashed hope for the organized labour as the Federal Government failed to make any formal pronouncement for a new salary review.

Instead, they told the workers that the working committee had yet to arrive at a final figure.

More intriguingly, Tinubu, in his commemorative message, promised to give workers a living wage, but remained silent on the exact figure to be paid. Vice President Kashim Shettima, who read the address on his behalf, said: “You would recall that on January 30, 2024, the Federal Government convened a 37-member Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

“The committee’s mandate was to provide counsel and suggest a national minimum wage that aligns with our current economic conditions.

“Since then, the committee, in collaboration with labour leaders, has been diligently working towards proposing a new national minimum wage.

“Unfortunately, despite concerted efforts, the committee was unable to reach a consensus at its last meeting. This shall be resolved soon and I assure you that your days of worrying are over.”

Yet, in another twist, a released circular announced salary increase of between 25 per cent and 35 per cent for civil servants, while the Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, disclosed that the new minimum wage would take effect from May 1, 2024. 

With this befuddling dimension, the leadership of the labour union now appears to be in a big dilemma.

On the one hand, they are worried that the unsolicited increase could be a ploy to truncate the real minimum wage they have been fighting for. On the other hand, they view with serious concern the endless postponement of the committee report as a deliberate attempt to frustrate the ongoing negotiation.

If a government is responsive, there will be no need to crow to be heard. But in this case, the more the workers cry under the heavy weight of food inflation, declining value of disposable income and the burden of multiple taxations, the more the government is evasive in its response to their demand for improved pay package.

While reacting to the latest disappointment, the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, with his subdued mien, said that he would not be able to guarantee industrial harmony beyond the end of May in the event that the Federal Government failed to implement the new minimum wage.

His words: “The Nigeria Labour Congress and the TUC have made it clear and emphatically that should the minimum wage negotiation continues and lingers till the end of May, we can no longer guarantee industrial harmony in this country.

“We should be in the regime of new minimum wage as of today. Discussions were supposed to have been concluded.

“The Federal Government through the National Assembly legislated on it. But we saw that the discussion entered voice mail because the Federal Government refused to reconvene the meeting that was adjourned.

“I think the announcement now appears mischievous because there is no wage increase that government is announcing. For them to announce it now, it is an issue that we are worried about at the NLC and even at the TUC.”

Critics are also quick to accuse Tinubu of being elusive in his promise to cushion the effects of his policies which have impacted negatively on the general well-being of ordinary Nigerians.

But the issue goes beyond a mere declaration of threat of strike. Not only that strike is counter-productive, it has never worked under the present government.

Since the Tinubu administration came on board on May 29, 2023, Ajaero has fought and lost many battles against the Federal Government. The first litmus test of his strength was on July 26, when he led the NLC on a two-day “warning strike”, to protest against the growing cost of living caused by the removal of petrol subsidies. Despite the threat to “shut down” the nation’s economy, the government stood its ground. At the end of all negotiations, the strike was ultimately called off on August 2 without any tangible result.

Similar experience has also been recorded in a couple of other instances where workers’ efforts to get a good bargain from the government have met a brickwall.

For a change of narrative, it is, therefore, imperative for the leadership of the organised labour to do a thorough introspection of itself and the strategies for holding government accountable for its action and inaction. First and foremost, there must be a convergence on a realistic minimum wage as against the bogus figure being bandied around. Secondly, the capacity of the states to pay the new minimum wage must be taken into serious consideration while negotiating. This is bearing in mind that some governors have yet to implement the existing minimum wage of N30, 000. For a government that has already established a regular pattern of behaviour, there is no possibility that the proposal of N615,000 submitted to the committee by the NLC as the new minimum wage will fly when its recommendation is eventually released. Already, the governors of the 36 states of the federation have faulted the recent announcement by the Federal Government on an increase in the salary of civil servants.

At present, what the federal and state governments consider in their estimation to be a living wage is not the same thing as that of the labour union because the two sides are looking at different dynamics.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a communiqué at the end of its virtual meeting on May 1, while acknowledging the various initiatives adopted by way of wage awards and partial wage adjustments, said: “as members of the committee, we are reviewing our individual fiscal space as state governments and the consequential impact of various recommendations to arrive at an improved minimum wage we can pay sustainably.”

In the same vein, some concerned voices within the presidency have been overheard whispering some negative comments, saying the figure is unrealistic.

With this divergence, the Ajaero-led leadership must prepare itself for a serious battle if it chooses to adopt the option of strike as the last resort. Just as it will need to mobilize its members to confront the Federal Government so also will it engage the state in a fight for a good bargain. And that will be a recipe for self defeat.

While some states have indicated their readiness to pay the new minimum wage, others have remained non-committal to the agitation.

Lagos

In Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while speaking to the state workers on May Day celebration, assured the state that his administration would implement the new minimum wage approved by the Federal Government.

He made the commitment in response to the demands of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.

“This year’s theme, ‘People First,’ resonates deeply with our administration’s philosophy, which is underpinned by our firm belief in prioritizing the welfare of our people.

“Through various measures, policies, and initiatives, we have demonstrated that the interest and welfare of the people come first and remain the ultimate goal of all our actions. Our response actions are geared towards mitigating the impact of these trying times and offering support to both our workers and citizens alike,” he said.

Abia

However, the Lagos State workers counterparts in Abia have yet to receive the N30,000 minimum wage. Sunday Sun investigations revealed that workers in the unified local government system had never benefitted from the N30,000 national minimum wage under the successive past administrations.

It was, however, discovered that only civil servants had salary increase which was even below the N30,000 minimum wage.

A labour leader in the state, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said that workers in the unified local government system were yet to be paid the N30,000 minimum wage.

He said what the last administration did was in lieu of the N30,000 minimum wage, explaining that the civil servants only had an addition N10,000 to their monthly salary across board.

“No official of the Ministry of Finance was forthcoming with what the state gets as allocation from the federation account, or what it pays out monthly as salary to the workers. But it is rumoured in some quarters that the state now gets an enhanced allocation of between N7 billion to N8 billion monthly. Unofficially, report put the amount spent on salaries between N3.5 billion to N4 billion monthly, including pensions.

“However, the present government has promised to pay any amount the Federal Government reached with labour as minimum wage,” the source said.

Indeed, the Deputy Chief of Staff (D/CoS) to Governor Alex Otti, Chinedu Ekeke while speaking in Umuahia, said:

“Our stand as a state government is that we do not want to go ahead of the Federal Government to make a proclamation on that because you do not know where the direction the Federal Government is headed.

“So, it’s better for us to wait and then see what the Federal Government wants to do and then we now look at what we can afford as a state and then move, but clearly, the state government is interested in the improvement of workers’ welfare and salaries’ increment is part of that plan.”

Governor Otti himself said that his administration would take the lead in the implementation of the new pay package for workers in the state.

He promised that he would backdate the implementation and pay its arrears to the state workers.

Benue

In Benue State, discussions are still ongoing between the state government and labour union on the implementation of minimum wage.

The state Commissioner for Finance and Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Michael Oglegba could not be reached for comments as he was said to be out of town for an official engagement.

He did not pick his calls or answer to questions sent to his phone.

But earlier, he had told Sunday Sun that the committee on minimum wage set up by the state government comprising relevant arms of government; Ministry of Finance, the Head of Service, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, SUBEB, local government leaders and the organised labour, were meeting to work out, among other things, the possibility of paying the new minimum wage of N30,000 as he disclosed that Benue workers were still being paid N18,000.

According to him, the committee will weigh all the options vis-à-vis the available resources and advise the government appropriately

The Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC), Benue State Council, Comrade Terungwa Igbe, confirmed that the meeting was still ongoing.

“We are still meeting and working with the national labour to see what they have finally agreed so that the government can implement. We are waiting for the main wage,” Igbe said.

He, however, appealed to the state government to commence implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage pending the commencement of the new salary structure.

But Governor Hyacinth Alia, while addressing Benue workers on May 1, at the 2024 Workers’ Day Celebration held in Makurdi, assured the labour unions in the state that, in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, his administration would implement the anticipated new minimum wage as may be agreed upon by the Federal Government and the organised labour.

Edo

Findings by Sunday Sun showed that Edo State workers had long migrated from the N18,000 to N40,000 and now, N70,000. The new minimum wage for Edo workers was announced by Governor Godwin Obaseki on April 29, during the commissioning of the Labour’s House, named after the Senator representing Edo North Senatorial District, Adams Oshiomhole.

Speaking for the state government, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Osilama Okuofu said that the demand of NLC was not realizable considering the present economic challenges in the country.

He said that if the Federal Government wants to meet the demands of the NLC, a lot of workers will be laid off and it will not be good enough for the states that are not financially viable.

Niger

According to available reports, Niger State civil servants have never enjoyed any minimum wage since 1999.

The state workers are among the least paid civil servants in the country.

With staff strength of over 80,000, it is ironic that the state has never implemented any minimum wage approved by the Federal Government since the return of democracy.

Some civil servants who spoke to Sunday Sun said that it would be a miracle for the situation to change in the state despite the increase in the state monthly allocation from the federation account and the internally generated revenue.

According to a source close to the office of the accountant general of the state, the average monthly allocation to the state has drastically increased from less than N4million to over N12billion in the last 11 months.

Mallam Musa Abdullahi, a staff of the state ministry of education, said that they were not expecting any salary increment from the state government, stressing that “we have accepted our faith as the least paid in the country. We have never enjoyed any minimum wage increment in the state in the last 20 years.”

But the Chairman of the organised labour in the state, Comrade Idrees Abdulkarerm Lafene, said that the labour would wait until the new minimum wage is announced before it will draw a conclusion as to whether the state government will pay or not.

Kano

In Kano State, the size of workers is said to be slightly more than 150,000, according to officials who spoke off the record.

This includes the state civil servants amounting to 60,000, local government workers about 55,000 and state teachers 45,000.

A cross section of civil servants who spoke with Sunday Sun raised doubts over the ability of the state government to pay as much as a N100,000 minimum wage as is being expected by many workers.

They feared that workers holding such high expectation might be disappointed at the end of the day. Some are, however, anticipating between NN75,000  to N90,000 as the new minimum wage.

They argued that the rise in FAAC to the state remained minimal and, therefore, incapable of managing a huge wage increase, pointing out that the state was not doing well in terms of internally generated revenue.

Kaduna

For Kaduna State, the wage bill stands at N5.2 billion monthly while FAAC is N10 billion.

However, neither the government officials nor workers are willing to talk to the media on the issue.

The state government is currently paying a minimum wage of N30,000, but nobody is sure of the commitment of the present administration to the proposed minimum wage by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

The state governor, Uba Sani, had in late March cried out that he could not pay salaries because of the  inherited  huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the previous administration of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.

Governor Sani explained that N7 billion out of the N10 billion Federal Allocation (FAAC) for Kaduna State in the month of March was deducted to service the state’s debt.

The governor further lamented that, “the state was left with N3 billion, an amount which was not enough to pay salaries, as the state’s monthly salary bill stands at N5.2billion.”

Rivers

Civil servants in Rivers State  currently receive N22,000 as minimum wage, instead of N30,000.

It was only recently that N30,000 minimum wage was  approved for local government workers by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

For that gesture, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Andoni Local Government Area recently conferred the ‘Most Workers-Friendly’ award on the chairman, Erastus Awortu, for implementing the N30,000 minimum wage for LG workers approved by Governor Fubara.

According to analysts, the state’s ability to implement the new minimum wage is likely due to a combination of factors, including: Federal Government support.

It could not be ascertained the specific amount Rivers State gets from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). But it comes after Delta State.

Enugu

Enugu workers are optimistic.that the new new minimum wage would be implemented.The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Enugu State, Fabian Nwigbo, speaking with Sunday Sun expressed the optimism over the proposed new minimum wage in Enugu State.

He said that the state Governor, Peter Mbah, had promised to pay the new minimum wage approved by the Federal Government.

His words: “With regards to the expected new minimum wage, His Excellency has given us his words, that as soon as the new minimum wage is in place, that he will continue.

“He is also paying us a wage award of N25,000 for state workers and N10,000 for local government and primary school teachers. He said that after the new minimum wage is passed into law, that he will continue into the new minimum wage.

“So, I am optimistic that Enugu State is going to be one of the states that will pay minimum wage immediately after it is passed into law.

“Enugu State started paying minimum wage in February 2020. It was approved by 2019 and by 2020 they had started paying minimum wage. But they exempted local government and primary school teachers.

“So presently, every staff in Enugu State, whether it is local government staff, whether it is primary school teachers, whether it is secondary school teachers, whether  it is the regular civil servants and so on receives minimum wage. That’s N30, 000. I don’t know if I should call it minimum wage or horrible wage.”

On his part, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ben Asogwa, noted that the new minimum wage was long overdue, citinng the present economic realities.

He also said that though the proposed wage was below the needs of the average worker, the labour unions were concerned about implementation if more is requested.

“It is small to what Nigeria workers expect, but we are concerned about its implementation if more is requested, given the economic factors and indices. Any governor that refuses to pay should leave office,” he said.

Imo

Imo State is among the nine oil producing states and, therefore, collects 13 per cent oil derivation in addition to the regular monthly allocations from the federation account, making the workers to believe that the state has the capacity  to pay the new minimum wage.

The state collected a total of over N152 billion in 2023 as its own share from the federation account and, the state will be collecting over N136 billion this year, this is excluding Internally Generated Revenue.

The state has one of the highest number of civil servants in the Southeast with a total wage bill of N53,191,038 .185.84 annually.

Currently, the state is paying the N30,000 minimum wage to civil servants on Grade level 1- 6, and not the N40,000 as announced by the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma last year in the wake of the fuel subsidy removal by President Tinubu.

Comrade Uche Chigemezu Nwigwe, state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, said that he should be among the first to implement the new national minimum wage as workers  “friendly” governor who is concerned about the plight of workers in the state.

“We believed that the state should be among the first states to implement the new national minimum wage, when approved, as we have a worker-friendly governor.  We have also reminded the governor of the immediate implementation of the financial effects of the arrears of promotion already approved by him for Imo workers.

“Implementation of the consequential adjustment of salary on the approved N30,000 minimum wage for workers from grade level 08 to 17.”

Also, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ngor Okpala council, Comrade Emmanuel Echereozo, noted that the state being one of the producing states has the ability and capacity to pay the new national minimum if approved.

However,  some of the civil servants who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that workers in the state are not getting their actual monthly salaries, adding that earned allowances are not paid by the government.

One of them said: “We don’t even know what our actual salaries are any longer. The state governor had engaged a consultant through out last year and we just get alerts without any subheads and, therefore, it becomes very difficult to complain to anybody over the deductions, which vary from month to month. Those who were promoted last year are still earning the same old salary scale before the promotions.”

Ekiti

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Ekiti State chapter, Comrade Kolapo Olatunde, said: “When the minimum wage was N18,000  the state government was able to live up to expectation and when it was raised to N30,000, the government was equally able to pay. The only additional information is that the state used to receive those information and come back to set up a committee to negotiate again, which therefore, enabled it not to be immediate, which I think it should not be so.

“Since the state governments are part of the negotiation at the national when the document is released, is pronounced, is signed, it is supposed to be automatic like that of the Federal Government and, therefore, we are looking up to a situation where by the new minimum wage will be signed into law and the payment will be immediate, though then, we didn’t have somebody like Mr Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as governor, but now we have the opportunity of having a friendly governor in position, therefore, I think that immediately the minimum wage is signed, I want to believe that the implementation will commence without any large time lag like it used to be.”

Speaking for the government, the Commissioner for Information in Ekiti State, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun, said: “Like I have always said, we have a federating unit in the country, it is still a proposal. I think all the necessary establishments and levels of government, having their representatives must be able to sit down and talk. This matter is something we should look at vis-a-vis the revenue within the system and which of course, is very important and like the governor and the government of Ekiti have always been affirming that, as soon as the tripartite committee of the Federal Government, the state government and the union leaders are able to resolve on the amount they will pay, I can assure you that Ekiti State government as we have always stated will not renege in ensuring that we do not owe our own workers and they will not suffer any form of injustice. What is important, the well-being, wellness and welfare of our workers are of top priority.

“So, the N615,000 they are talking about, to me, is something that they should be able to sit down and agree upon. To me, as much as Ekiti is concerned, I can say it without any fear of contradiction that there has not been any resolution as to that in Ekiti here and it is not something that I can say is realistic, that is the truth.”

On the statutory allocation of Ekiti State from FAAC, the Commissioner said: “Ekiti is getting between N5.8 billion to N6.3 billion, we are getting about N6.3 billion, that is the maximum we have gotten.”

Speaking on the wage bill and the size of the workforce, the Head of Service in the state, Engr Sunday Komolafe said: “ It is only the Accountant General that can  say categorically, but I know that we spend more than 50 per cent of our revenue on wages even the FAAC allocation because we have subvention to tertiary institutions and other places.

“And for the size of the workforce, I know for the core civil servants, teaching service and local government, we have a little above 50,000 in the neighborhood apart from universities, colleges of education and others.”

Sharing their thoughts, a worker in one of the ministries in the state, Mr Rotimi Ayobami, said: “On the minimum wage, yes, it is overdue. Already, the minimum wage should be reviewed this year. Then, considering the current economic reality, no worker can survive anywhere on this current minimum wage. So, the government must as a matter of urgency, increase the minimum wage as requested by the NLC.

“However, beyond the minimum wage, certain economic interventions have to be put in place to avoid inflation. The government of President Ahmed Tinubu should fix our refineries to bring down the price of petroleum products which usually have multiplier effects. Electricity tariff should be reduced while other social amenities should be improved upon.”

Ayobami added: “In Ekiti State, the N18,000 and N30,000 minimum wage have been implemented over time and the governor has promised to implement the expected minimum wage the moment all issues concerning it have been perfected and we believe him.”

A civil servant, Venerable Oso Ebenezer, said: “All wage proposal should be made with mindfulness to moderation; the government must not be overly burdened yet, the workers must also be made to feel adequate relief in these trying times.

“The state government was able to pay workers the minimum wage when it was N18,000 and after it was raised to N30,000.”

Mr Muyiwa Adewumi, a worker, said: “The proposed new minimum wage by labour union is a welcome development because of the economic situation of the country and rise in goods and services. The salary of Public Servant cannot to be seen to remain static.

“Ekiti State government has been able to pay the minimum wage when it was N18,000 and after it was raised to N30,000.”

Anambra

While controversies continue to trail the agitation of the Nigeria Labour Congress for wage increase or implementation of new minimum wage, various state governments have been called out by workers for partial or non-implementation of the minimum wage.

In Anambra State, workers acknowledged the fact that there was a partial implementation of new minimum wage starting from the time of the N18,000 to the time of N30,000.

The state Chairman of NLC,  Comrade Humphrey Nwafor said that workers in Anambra State only got N10,000 across board while the minimum wage of N18,000 lasted.

“On the issue of N18,000 minimum wage, Anambra State government only added N10,000 across board for all the workers. So, there was no complete implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage.

“Then the worst is the N30,000 minimum wage. What the state government did was to say they were making sure that the least worker in the state earns N30,000, but the main implementation in line with the Salary and Wages Commission is not yet there,” he said.

Nwafor said that though all these happened before the administration of Prof Chukwuma Soludo, he was, however, sad that nothing has been done to accommodate every worker in the state as regards the minimum wage.

“This thing happened before the administration of Prof Chukwuma Soludo. So, workers in Anambra are not yet enjoying the N18, 000 and N30,000 minimum wage because it’s still in it’s partial implementation,” he said.

On the issue of the new minimum wage being agitated by labour, Comrade Nwafor said that Anambra workers are optimistic that the state government under Prof Soludo will pay the new minimum wage when fully gazetted.

“Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo is a member of the committee representing the South East in the committee that is looking into the agitation by labour as regards the new minimum wage, so I believe being a member of the committee, he is going to abide by the decision of the committee. So, we believe he will pay,” he said.

In the area of wage bill, the NLC boss revealed that local government wage is estimated at about half a billion while that of state is about N2.5 billion monthly.

He said that political appointees may have also been added that made the wage  bill to swell to that amount.

All efforts to get the reaction of the Hon. Commissioner for Finance in Ananbra State proved abortive as he refused to pick his calls nor reply text messages sent to his phone.

Ebonyi

A teacher from Urban Secondary School, Abakaliki who pleaded anonymity described the alleged government insensitivity to the yeaning of the civil servants pertaining to the minimum wage as core callousness.

“The money in question is not up what the politicians are receiving as their constituencies travel, ward rope and other allowances combined together, but Ebonyi is finding it difficult to join other states in the payment perhaps because their relatives are not in the teaching profession,” she said.

A veterinary doctor who does want to be named said that the past governments of Ebonyi State had been dodging the payment of minimum wage both when it was N18,000 and N30,000 while the present one had increased the workers’ salaries in two different occasions instead of doing what is expected of him.

He disclosed that the present government under Chief Francis Nwifuru is in position to pay the minimum wage as proposed by Nigeria Labour Congress owing to the fact the Federal Government had increased the monthly allocations of all the states to enable the governors cope with the hardship caused by fuel subsidy removal and hike in the cost of living.

“During Chief Martin Elechi’s administration, he bluntly refused to pay the minimum wage to Ebonyi workers, the same thing applicable to the immediate past government of Engr. David Umahi.

“Presently, apart from N100,000 Christmas bonus given to each worker, the governor had increased the workers’ salaries with sum of N10,000 in two occasions rather than paying the minimum wage even when some other states had started the payment,” he said.

The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ebonyi State chapter, Prof Ogugua Egwu said that the government of Ebonyi has not been able to pay the minimum wage both when it was N18,000 and N30,000 and alleged that a government official later faked what looked like minimum wage without a chart.

“They claimed that they paid minimum wage whereas they did not, concerning the N615,000 proposed by NLC, if they determine to pay, they can do it even if is it N1 million, everything depends on willingness rather than ability.

“The truth is that the people find it difficult to favour ordinary people because if the minimum wage is meant for the ruling class, they would have implemented it in a hurry, but since it is for the poor masses, they may say that it will cause inflation,” he said.

He also disclosed that the size of the workforce in Ebonyi State would be about 9,000 civil servants comprising some people who were appointed and incorporated into civil service system by some politicians.

“If by grace of God, the governor approves the 1,700 employees, the workforce will get close to 10,000 or more than while the statutory allocation of the state from FAAC has not been constant,” he added.

XXX

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