The Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has said paying the new minimum wage in the state is not a problem for the state.
According to TheNation, Udom said this while speaking on Monday in Uyo during consultation with the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, United Labour and other affiliated unions said the state government is only waiting on the Federal government to decide on the new minimum wage so that it can implement in the state.
He said labour is the bedrock of development in any nation and commended the unions for their support so far, adding that he has fulfilled his promises to the unions.
He stated that even when allocations from the Federal government was still pending, he sourced for money to make sure salaries were paid.
“Labour is the key to development. You cannot relegate labour to the background.
“Minimum wage has never been an issue, it is just that it has been a matter of legislation. We are waiting for directions from the Federal government, once the direction is given, we will pay.
“In the face of circumstances and what we face in this country, I have done my best to make sure that workers do not suffer. I pay salaries in circumstances that I do not receive allocation. You did not elect me to make excuses but to find solution to problems.
“I have demonstrated capacity yesterday and can look into the future. I am here today because you people have strengthened me to be here and made it possible for me to be here, and we can talk and negotiate. I thank labour for the fantastic relationship between the labour and us.
“The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has the best blueprint for workers in the country. We need your support in the usual manner to support us in the coming election. Today is the day for consultation. I want to thank God for the leadership of the labour and for this state. It is not in every state that labour sits like this with the governor,” he said.
Earlier, the Nigeria Labour Congress State Chairman, Comrade Etim Ukpong said labour is a very economicially and socially variable group, adding that he was happy the governor knows the labour has given him support.
He said the workers are appreciative of what the governor and was he has done, and hope that he would fulfill all outstanding promises to them.
“Over three and a half years, there had been no labour restiveness in Akwa Ibom State because you are working with people who can manage the situation.
“Your coming gives us the satisfaction that we are working with somebody who understand the meaning of labour union. We welcome you here, you saw how the labour leaders welcomed you.
“They appreciate you and what your government has spent during the period as governor, and as you are leaving this place, you will address what the people what to hear. Our workers want to see the consultation in action” he stated.