The Kano State Government has said it is impossible for it to pay workers their full consolidated wages for March.
The government, through its commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba in a release on Tuesday, said this is because of the drop in federal allocation for the period.
“The drop in federal allocation for the period under review has made it difficult for the government to implement the new salary package,” he said.
The state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had given the government a seven-day ultimatum to the state government to refund and stop what it described as “illegal deduction” from civil servants’ salaries or face industrial action.
Chairman of NLC in the state, Kabiru Ado Minjibir, gave the ultimatum after an emergency meeting of the State Executive Council on Friday.
He insisted that failure of the government to stop the “unexplained” deduction before the end of its ultimatum on April 6, 2021, workers would embark on a three-day warning strike from the midnight of April 7.
“Given the situation, the organised labour ought to have reason with the government because embarking on strike won’t in any way solve the problem,” the commissioner said.
Malam Garba said for the month of March, the state government received a total allocation of N12, 400,000,000 from the federation account, out of which the state collected N6,100,000,000, while the 44 local governments collected the sum of N6,300,000,000.
The commissioner explained that for the state government to pay the consolidated wages to its workers, it needs additional billions of naira which is currently not available.
He pointed out that at its meeting with the labour union in May 2020, there was an understanding that government would pay workers’ salaries based on percentage of the total disbursement received.
He also recalled that in November/December, last year, “similar necessary but temporary measure was adopted in the payment of workers’ salary as a result of the shortage to keep the government going which was, however, reversed for the months of January and February, after the situation improved.”
He thereafter appeal for the support and cooperation of the labour union and the entire workforce in general to maintain the good working relationship with the government in the interest of industrial harmony.
He further assured workers in the state that they would continue to receive the new package as soon as the situation improves.