Niger State Commissioner of Finance, Mu’azu Bawa, yesterday said the state government cannot afford to implement full new national minimum wage, saying even with the partial implementation of the new salary structure the state is only left with N300 million every month to cater for other services.
Bawa made the disclosure in Minna following a threat by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on strike this week if the state government failed to implement the N18,000 minimum wage as directed by the federal government.
Giving an insight into the state expenditure, the commissioner said government expends 80 per cent of its finances on payment of salaries and other recurrent expenditure. On his part, the state Head of Service, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said the state has a 32,000 workforce, which is one of the largest in the country.
It was against this background that the state House of Assembly Committee on Labour called for a public dialogue between the government and labour union yesterday.