N30,000 minimum wage: RIVSCO casts doubts over Wike’s approval

Lorine Emenike

Chairman of Rivers State Coalition of Civil Societies Organization, RIVSCO, has said the announcement made by the Rivers State Government over the approval for the payment of N30, 000 minimum wage might be a political gimmick to scam Rivers people.

Enafaa Georgewill said in a statement that the swift announcement could be a face-saving attempt by Governor Nyesom Wike to rescue himself from torrents of backlashes that have trailed his public humiliation of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt a fortnight ago.

Georgewill said it has become difficult to trust the governor’s pronouncements as he has often found excuses to renege on them afterwards.

“For us in the Civil Society, we do not trust the government of Governor Nyesom Wike. This is a man who promised that as soon as the Federal Government approves the new wage and sign it into law, Rivers state will be the first to pay immediately labour and the federal government reached an agreement.

“It is over five months after government and labour finalised on the adjustments and states with far lesser revenue are already implementing.

“He is just now making this public. We are only mindful and suspicious that it does not turn out to be another political talk as has become accustomed to him. We pray he means it,” he said.

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Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers had on Thursday approved the payment of the minimum wage of N30,000 to workers in the state’s Public Service.

The approval was contained in a Special Announcement by Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Communications.

It stated: “His Excellency, Nyesom Wike, has graciously approved the payment of the minimum wage of N30, 000 monthly salaries for employees of the Rivers State Public Service with the consequential salary adjustments as approved by the Federal Government.

Checks revealed that as at December, only six states had begun implementation of the new wage, while five states had concluded negotiations with organised labour on consequential adjustment and agreed to commence implementation this month (January).

Meanwhile, four states were yet to set up committees for the negotiations of the consequential adjustment.
21 states were still embroiled in negotiations on the consequential adjustment. The states that had commenced implementation are Lagos, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and Adamawa, while the five states that agreed to commence implementation this month were Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Katsina.

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Similarly, the 21 states at different stages of negotiations are Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Bornu, Sokoto, and Gombe, while those yet to commence negotiation are Yobe, Nasarawa, Taraba and Niger states.

With Rivers and the Bayelsa States announcing its approval this week, the number has now reduced to 19.

It will be recalled that while the N30, 000 new national minimum wage was signed into law on April 18, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari, Organised Labour and the Federal Government agreed on the consequential adjustment on October 18, 2019, after protracted negotiations.