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ZAMFARA MINIMUM WAGE DEBACLE: BLAMING THE GATE KEEPERS!!!

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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

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Let me begin by saying, the criticisms that characterized the implementation of the approved N30,000 minimum wage in Zamfara is unnecessary.

It is unnecessary because some few groups of selfish individuals are responsible for all the confusion not because the “seat of the power” has failed in its requirements to do what is expected in relations to the minimum wage implementation.

The Governor promised that the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wages begins by November 2022, and he has clearly and openly demonstrated that commitment especially by approving the sum of over N3b naira to that effect at the inception.

He has also set up a committee for the implementation of the minimum wage and charged them with the mandate of coming up with an approved scale that will be conveniently implemented.

Every reader of this article knew very well that the economic condition of Zamfara state then and now is not favorable to allow for the minimum wage implementation.

But the Governor out of immense pressure and despite the economic constraints was pursued by the labor leaders and other stakeholders to implement the N30,000 minimum wages, and he graciously accepts it in good fate and approved it.

He has also approved the “salry scale” proposed by the Committee on the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wages without any bargain.

He released over N3b for the commencement of the implementation by November 2022 as agreed. So, the question now is where does the problem lie?

The civil servants and of course the labor unions, especially the Nigerian Labor Congress should silently seek for an answer to these bunch of artificial problems.

To say the fact straight, something fishy is happening at the level of Ministry of Finance which is becoming alarming and I doubt if the speculation is not true that the problems or the unnecessary delays were deliberately caused by some unpatriotic workers to generate bad blood for the government.

Unconfirmed information had established that the Ministry of Finance of Zamfara is not working with the approved templet developed by the committee and that was the basis of the entire confusion, this is a hypothesis that is required to be proven wrong by the Zamfara Finance Ministry.

The committee set up by the Governor had reliably developed a template and sent same to all the MDA’s for validations. Observations raised by the MDA’s were carefully effected by the committee before it was sent to the Governor for his final approval.

Why is the ministry of Finance finding it difficult to implement the salary scale? This is a one million question that is begging for one million answer!!!

Why is Ministry of Finance avoiding the committee that developed the salary scale if at all there are inconsistencies?

Why is “consultant” to the Ministry who is not a party to the development of the new minimum wage scale more important than the committee members who are both technical and experienced people to handle the emerging issue from the scale?

I think the state Commissioner for Finance need to sit up and make sure that the right thing is done and those with pending cases of salary payment are settled simply in order to save the image and reputation of the government.

For now, the confusion in the successful implementation of N30,000 minimum wages is still tricky because the Ministry of Finance has turned the exercise to a “ONE MAN SHOW”.

There is need to involved more hands because implementation of new minimum wage is bigger than one individual no matter his capacity or experience. This is a bitter truth!!.

It is very unfair for the Ministry of Finance to allow more criticism on the Governor over failure of one person to get things right as regard to the implementation of minimum wage.

As for Zamfara workers, especially those that are affected by the delay in getting their November /December salaries you need to blame the labor union, especially NLC.

In my own personal view, the leadership of Zamfara NLC is not sincere to the plight of Zamfara workers as regard to the new minimum wage implementation.

From the information trending on the public domain they are part of the problem and their silence or refusal to update the workers on every bit of the implementation stage is a clear indicator that they are more or less not concern about what is happening and it may likely be for some reasons of marriage of convince with some actors within the government.

When the accusations against the Labour leaders were becoming tensed the NLC was invited numerous time by this medium to come and face the media and explain the circumstances behind the crises they deliberately and tactically declined.

Instead the leadership is always claiming to be holding meeting with the Head of Service or Chief of staff. The meeting that did not help the affected civil servants positively.

I think there are many unconfirmed revelations as to the shoddy deals being perfected by some civil servants as a way of manipulating the new scale, all with the effort to sustain the tricks of shortchanging the government.

That of discovery of fake doctors is one out of many. Similarly cases Finance staffers collecting salaries of medical doctors is another evidence.

Zamfara state civil servants should have this in their mind that the Governor has done his own part by approving what was recommended to him as fulfillment of his commitment to implementing the new minimum wage for Zamfara workers.

The onus now lie with their labor unions to stand their ground and ensure that those heartless civil servants at the Ministry of Finance and elsewhere have allowed the right things to be done so that the deserving civil servants would enjoy the benefit of their struggle.

The criticisms on the government is unnecessary. Some unpatriotic civil servants are responsible for the confusion, not the Governor.

He has done his part, and it is left for those at the stage of gate keeping, especially the Ministry of Finance to do what is necessary.

It is equally important for the workers to set eyes on the operation of their respective labor unions so that their union leaders would not subject their fates to unnecessary political enterprises.

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ZAMFARA AG. GOV. NASIHA VISITS CBN GUSAU BRANCH, ASK COMMERCIAL BANKS TO IMPROVE ON SERVICE DELIVERY.

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Zamfara State Acting Governor Sen. Hassan Muhammad Nasiha has paid an unscheduled visit to the Gusau branch of Central Bank on Monday.

The visit was part of the commitment of the Matawalle administration to ensure that the suffering of the people of the state in trying to access cash from banks has been reduced to the barest minimum.

According to the Spokesperson of the Deputy Governor Babangida Umar Zurmi, the Senator expressed dismay with the manner at which people are spending multiple hours at the ATM points trying to access cash for their daily activities.

He therefore urged the CBN to develop ways of getting people out of the present predicament.

In a response, the branch controller of CBN Mal. Buhari Abbas thanked the Deputy Governor for the visit and assured that the needful would be done and cash would be made available in the shortest possible time.

In a related development, the Deputy Governor paid similar unscheduled visits to FCMB,ECO Bank, Zenith and Gt Bank in order to hear from the citizens directly.

He commended the arrangements made by FCMB and ECO banks in trying their best to make money available for customers to withdraw, especially at the ATM Points.

As for Zenith and Gt Bank, Sen. Nasiha expressed dismay over the poor arrangements made for the customers in the two banks and urged them to ensure that Improvement has been made

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ZMSG DIRECT WATER BOARD TO SUSTAIN WATER TRANSMISSION TWICE A DAY

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Zamfara state Acting Governor Sen. Hassan Muhammad Nasiha has paid unscheduled visit to the state Ministry of Water Resources as part of the commitment of the state government in ensuring potable water supply within Gusau the capital city and its environs.

According to the Spokesperson of the Deputy Governor Babangida Umar Zurmi, the visit of the Acting Governor was triggered by the constant public outcry over shortage of water supply in the capital city.

Sen. Nasiha who commended the effort of the staff of the Ministry for demonstrating serious commitment to duty explained that the high cost of diesel has been part of the reason that is causing inconsistencies in the frequent supply of water.

But he explained that the state government has taken the appropriate steps of increasing the funding of the Ministry because of the reality on the ground.

He urged the ministry to intensify public enlightenment so that people can be kept informed about the challenged faced by the ministry.
While urging the commissioner of Water Resources to forward situation report directly to his office for action, he directed the ministry to ensure transmission of water to Gusau town and environs twice a day.

The Commissioner for water resources in a response thanked the Deputy Governor for the visit and assured him of their readiness to comply with the government directive at all time.

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ZMSG LEGAL TUSSLE WITH THE FG OVER NAIRA REDESIGN POLICY: (OUR STAND)

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(OUR EDITORIAL STAND)

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The decision taken by the Governor of Zamfara to drag the Federal government to court over frustrating conditions caused by the recent policy on naira redesign is absolutely the highest expectation of typical citizens of Zamfara state.

Every serious leader who means well for his people will surely challenge policies that are meant to add into the existing socio-economic frustrations faced by his people.

The suit filed by Governor Matawalle and two others, namely Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna and Yahaya Bello of Kogi is both apt and timely considering the level of hardship people of Zamfara are encountering since the commencement of the implementation of the new policy.

The fact of the matter with the new CBN policy is that, it was introduced with many lapses, and it was a clear demonstration that CBN was abruptly unprepared and by extension it has not taken into recognition the measures to be applied in managing the repercussions that may follow the policy.

The criticisms that trailed the new policy is enough for the CBN and indeed the Federal Government to have a rethink, but it seems Emiefele and his key drivers are doomed in understanding the reality of things in the country.

THE FACT AND PECULIARITIES ABOUT ZAMFARA AT THE WAKE OF THE NEW CBN POLICY

Currently, statistics has shown that, there are about eight local governments in Zamfara that are without a single branch of a commercial bank: they are Tsafe, Maradun, Birnin Magaji, Zurmi, Shinkafi, Maru, Bukkuyum, Bakura and Gummi.

These eight local governments have an estimate of population of about 3.2 million people going by the 2020 census figure which puts Zamfara population at 5.6 Million people.

Except Gusau the capital city of Zamfara where all the banks except TAJ and Providus Banks have the single branches and partly Talatar Mafara where there are four branches, the remaining four local governments have one single bank each.

Majority of the typical Zamfara populations are rural agriculturalists with large number of them purely into farming and livestock and with this abrupt CBN policy on cash redesign their suffering will rise to the hardest level.

This is couple with the social crises emanating from the activities of the armed bandits that had already crippled the rural economy of the populace and rendered many average wealthy people in the rural community into permanent poverty.

Currently, the hardship caused by the new CBN policy on naira redesign has reached the peak level that small businesses such as Okada riding, Keke Napep operation, tailoring, and local food vendors have shut down their businesses due to non-availability of cash in the hand of the people.

The commercial banks are adding into the frustrations of the people; hence people hopelessly spent hours on queue without getting  their hard-earned cash deposited in the various banks.

The level at which bankers in collaboration with some agents are diverting cash for percentage is also another source of worry; hence customers waited hopelessly without getting cash to settle their immediate family problems.

 

This development has triggered the anger of the people as they looked inward for the State Governor and other serious stakeholders to continue to raise their voice against the decisions of the CBN and that would be a big step in the right direction.

In our opinion, the Governor of Zamfara in collaboration with the two other Governors should stand their ground to challenge the CBN policy on naira redesign until when the solutions are provided for the suffering of the people of Zamfara.

Matawalle have the backing and support of well-meaning Zamfara people because we believed government need to do what is right for its citizens.

Democratic government is for the people, and it shall be driven by the people, and anything short of this will amount of tyranny.

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