Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has constituted a high-powered committee to address challenges and complaints emanating from non-payment of workers’ salary in the State.
The decision to set up the committee was reached at a closed-door meeting between the state government and leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the State as part of efforts to call off the ongoing three-week warning strike by the Labour.
Addressing a press conference at Ramat House, at the end of the meeting, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dr Ladan Salihu, stated that the committee would be headed by the state deputy governor, Senator Baba Tella, adding that it had a four-week time frame to submit its report.
According to him, other members of the committee included the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mohammed Sabi’u Baba, the leadership of the NLC, Trade Union Congress (TUC); Joint Negotiation Council (JNC); National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE); the state Head of Civil Service; Special Adviser to the Governor on Civil Service Matters, as well as other technocrats and professionals.
Salihu said that the Labour was able to table its grievances leading to the ongoing warning strike, adding that they included challenges surrounding the issues of salary payment, promotions and advancement in the public service, remittances and the issue of minimum wage.
According to the Chief of Staff, all the issues were discussed extensively with Governor Mohammed with a view of proffering solutions to them.
“The committee whose time frame is for four weeks will take a holistic look at all the challenges, constraints, complaints and limitations of all issues surrounding the non-payment of salaries.
“There was never a month that the governor did not pay workers’ salaries. The problem is the challenges of managing the payroll and nominal roll.
“Salaries are being paid in the state, but the challenges in the system that exclude some workers is what created bottlenecks which impinges on integrity of the government
“The committee will also look at the salary regime for the state by coming up with a template for both the local government and the state,” Dr Salihu said.
He added that the committee was saddled with the responsibility of establishing a credible payroll and nominal roll that will be backed by quality inputs to stand the test of time, as well as create a feedback mechanism for the state.
Also speaking, the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Danjuma Sale, said that the meeting between the government and the labour union was a fruitful one, saying that it afforded the union the opportunity to table all its grievances before the State government.
According to him, after the union tabled its grievances, the state government promised to look into them.
Comrade Sale assured that the leadership of labour in the State would convene the outcome of the meeting with the government to their members so as to take a decision on calling off the ongoing strike.