Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has commended the state civil servants for maintaining industrial harmony despite challenges.
He gave the commendation in Bauchi Tuesday while addressing the workers at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium during this year’s International Workers Day celebration.
He said that his administration has provided the needed motivation for the state civil servants through prompt payment of salaries and other benefits to enable them perform their duties.
Governor Abubakar however lamented that his administration is still battling with conflicting figures such as outstanding gratuity and pension arrears.
According to him, the administration inherited N15.5 billion outstanding gratuity arrears in 2015 which he said has risen to about N26.3 billion.
Governor Abubakar said that he is ready to start payment of the outstanding benefits if he will be presented with the right figures.
He lamented that, pension and gratuity figures in the kept growing in the state while salaries remain constant despite retirements and embargo on employment in the state.
He also added that the state has a wage bill of N5.2 billion monthly and the maximum amount the state gets in a month is N7 billion which left it with less than N2 billion to do other things.
In his address, the state Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Liman Bello said that the state civil service has been transformed for optimum productivity through various reforms.
He commended governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar for approving the reviewed civil service books which paved way for the success recorded in the state’s civil service.
In his welcome address, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Bauchi State, Comrade Hashimu Gital said that this year’s workers day celebrations coincided with the 40 years anniversary of the NLC’s existence in the country.
He said that the day is being celebrated to recognise the contributions of workers in the development of the country since 1912.
He said that the celebration provides an opportunity to assess current local and international issue important to workers and Nigeria’s trade unions movement.
He however lamented that the demands for minimum wage of N56,000 for Nigerian workers had been on for over two years but the workers had been kept waiting for approval.
"Our earlier demand for N56,000 minimum wage is no longer realistic and has. Therefore been reviewed to N66,000. Only last week, the tripartite committee met with stakeholders in Gombe at the public hearing to collect data and information concerning the issue,"he said.
Gital appealed to governor Abubakar on the pending issues of gratuitous and promotions in state and local governments for implementation.
"Your Excellency, we would like to appeal for the fast implementation of National Minimum Wage in the state whenever it is achieved,"he added.