NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
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.