Adamawa unable to implement minimum wage over COVID-19, state government tells workers
by Segun Adams
Adamawa State will be unable to pay its workers the new national minimum wage in March as agreed upon with its Joint Trade Union, the state government has said, citing economic crunch due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a note signed by Solomon Kumangar, the Director-General of Media and Communications in the Government House, the state government explained that the decision, along with other cost-saving measures, will enable it to undertake basic services.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the government is irrevocably committed to paying the consequential adjustment with backlog/arrears, as soon as COVID-19 and its negative economic implications abate,” the state government said.
The state government said the welfare of its workforce remained paramount to the administration of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the executive governor.
The decision of the state government’s decision to cut salaries comes amid reports of lower Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursement to states for February.
FAAC shared by 36 states and FCT fell to N581.566bn in February compared to N647.35bn in January due to a significant decline in crude oil price and lower revenue for the oil-dependent country.
The Coronavirus outbreak caused a decline in the demand for oil while the failure of OPEC and its allies to reach a production cut agreement that would support oil price crippled revenue flows to oil-producing countries including Nigeria.
Adamawa depends on the FG for up to 95 percent of its total income. As of September 2019, IGR of the state stood at N1.8bn, one of the lowest among states in the country.
Adamawa State had in January committed to pay its workers N32,000 instead of the N30,000 national minimum wage, while it engaged the state labour Union for the payment of the arrears between April 2019 and December.
Reports reaching BusinessDay suggests that the state government still has arrears from January and February.