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Govs Do Not Want To Sack Workers Over Payment Of Living, Minimum Wage – Oyebanji

Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has emphasized that state governors are advocating for fiscal federalism to enable individual states to afford a living wage for Nigerian workers.

Oyebanji, while reiterating the interest of the Nigerian Governor Forum (NGF), said that no state governors want to retrench workers because they are not able to afford the new minimum wage.

Naija News reports that the Ekiti State governor made these remarks in reaction to the lingering argument between organized labour, state and the federal government and other major stakeholders over the proposed new minimum wage.

Speaking during the 7th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in Ado-Ekiti Ekiti, Oyebanji highlighted the importance of preventing the downsizing of the workforce by ensuring that states can determine what they can afford without resorting to retrenchment.

He said: “The NGF is not against the living wage, no governor is against the minimum wage, but what we are saying is that it must reflect fiscal federalism, ability and capacity to pay. No Governor wants to retrench, if there is a minimum wage today without a concurrent increment in what we are earning, no state can pay, and that is the conversation we are having- that, look, we want to give you a living wage, but we must look at what comes to the states and whatever is in the best interest of the states and the workers, we will do.”

The governor took advantage of the opportunity to urge workers in Ekiti State to adopt agriculture and also mentioned that his administration had cleared more than 2,000 hectares of land to be given for free to Ekiti residents who are interested.

He said: “My appeal to civil servants is that those who would like to be part of our Agriculture Revolution should form themselves into cooperative societies and approach the Ministry of Agriculture for support.

“It may be difficult to support individually but when you form yourselves into cooperatives, many opportunities are available now. We are clearing land free of charge, we are giving inputs and we are going to buy from you. As I speak today, we have cleared more than 2,000 hectares across Ekiti state.”

Governor Oyebanji emphasized the essential role that civil servants hold in the governance of the state, serving as the driving force behind the state’s operations and a fundamental component of the state’s power dynamics.

He highlighted the significant contribution of civil servants towards the advancement and progress of the state, particularly in the implementation of the Six Pillars of his administration.

The Governor credited the efficiency and effectiveness of the workers for the accolades and achievements that the administration has garnered thus far.

“I have come here today to associate and rejoice with you as major stakeholders in our body polity. More importantly, I am also here to learn from you and to share your experience. As you know, the civil service is a reservoir of talents where you can find all professionals of different callings and experiences.

“A conference like this does not benefit the senior civil servants alone, it is an avenue for all of us to learn from one another, cross-fertilize ideas, and share experiences. I am, therefore, not just here as a Special Guest of Honour, I am here as a student of Public Administration”, the governor stated.

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