• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Otu seeks NLC’s support on Cross River’s bloated wage bill

Cross River moves to boost Nigeria’s rice production with 50,000 hectares farm

Governor Bassey Otu has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) in Cross River State to support the Government’s efforts towards sanitizing the State Civil Service, which has been affected by some anomalies that have left the present Administration with a bloated wage bill.

Governor Otu made the call when he addressed protesting labour leaders on Tuesday in Calabar as part a nationwide protest by the NLC.

Read also: NLC suspends nationwide protests, extends ultimatum by 7 days

The governor, who was represented by Peter Odey, the deputy governor, commended the protesting workers for their peaceful and co-ordinated manner of presenting their concerns before the Government, declaring support for labour over dwindling standards of living in Nigeria.

“There is hunger in the land. Of course, we know. We promised to run a ‘People First’ government. If the people are hungry, there is no way this will happen.

“His Excellency, Governor Bassey Otu is not here today. He is in Abuja for the Labour Committee meeting, pushing for government to consider improving worker’s welfare in the country.

“We know that the present minimum wage of workers is not enough to measure us with the level of inflation in the country. Prices of goods are high. Salaries ought to go up, too. That is why as government, we have made sure that the N10,000 palliative is paid to every civil servant.

“We also made sure that the N5,000 Christmas bonus was paid to all civil servants in the State. We have gone ahead to pay WAEC fees for Cross River students preparing for examinations.

“We have done that as a government and will continue to do more. The government of Prince Bassey Otu will take care of the plight of workers,” he assured.

On the issue of retired workers still occupying Government offices, the deputy governor charged the labour to assist Bassey Otu-led Administration to weed out such elements to create room for growth of other workers and the employment of new ones.

Read also: Better welfare, job creation top demands as NLC protests

Conveying Labour’s concerns, Cross River State NLC Chairman, Gregory Olayi, said they were protesting over the stark economic realities.

He said workers salaries had become grossly inadequate to cater for their households. He however lauded Governor Otu for the palliative intervention to Civil servants in the State, urging the Government to do more.