The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Thursday insisted that state governors are buoyant enough to pay the N30, 000 minimum wage demanded by Nigerian workers without resorting to downsizing.
This is coming after the Chairman of NGF, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara State, threatened to sack workers as the only measure to implement it.
Yari was quoted as saying, ”the proposed wage would be paid if labour would agree to downsizing of the workforce across the country”.
But, SDP in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed condemned the reluctance on behalf of Nigerian governors to yield to the demands that would better the lots of its workers’ conditions.
The party urged governors to stop unnecessary wasteful spendings, including chartering of aircraft in order to pay its productive workers what they rightly deserved.
They also advocated for a drastic reduction in the security votes allocated to governors as well as the long and undue convoys of our governors to reduce wastage of public funds.
The statement read: “It is a clear fact that the Nigerian workers are one of the least paid in Africa if not the world, despite their unwavering productivity and commitment to duty and development of the nation.
“It is a sad fact that many states government owed worker’s salaries for several months, despite their display of mindboggling financial recklessness and ostentatious profligacy.
“This has led to increased frustrations and needless deaths for some of the workers and may result in corruption on the part of the workers.
“We are taken aback by the flagrant delay in response to their demands. There is no justification whatsoever not to pay the N30,000 minimum wage for the workers, even though this cannot be equated to the living wages in the face of the present economic hardship in the country.
“Government has the capacity to pay the wage without any pressures on its finance. Government at all level need to put in place policies that will plug out all the financial loopholes or leakages of its resources so as to make more funds available.
“Government officials, most especially the state governors need to stop the unnecessary charter of aircraft at the expense of the taxpayers of the nation.
“All unjustifiable, wasteful foreign trips by state government functionaries, be it for medical or business related, must be curtailed or find viable and cost effective alternatives if at all there is a need for such
“In the face of the increasing financial obligations of many states and the need to pay its workers, states must improve on their internally generated revenues. They need to also diversify their economic base and boost the capacity of its work force in order to enhance productivity.
“We want to state categorically, against this backdrop that state governments must wake up from their slumber and desist from over-dependence on Federal Government allocations.
“Emphatically, they should learn to invest in profitable ventures that will bring regular revenues to states’ purse.
“The state government should embark on reduction and redirection of redundant staff to productive sectors as well as engage in training and empowerment programmes for staff to become sustainably productive and desist from duplication of political appointees and cut down on their allowances to reduce the cost of governance.”
The SDP further maintained that the state government can pay workers the minimum wage without resorting to a rationalisation of its workforce in view of the funds at their disposal presently.