Accuses NLC, House of Assembly of conniving with Bauchi governor
By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
The People’s Redemption Party (PRP) has lambasted Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed over his ‘I was not elected to pay salary’ comment and his inability to pay the minimum wage 2 years after his ascension to office.
PRP’s reaction follows Governor Bala’s comment in which he told some Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) during a courtesy visit at the Bauchi Government House that he was not elected to pay salary.
Addressing the press in Bauchi on Thursday, the Chairman of the party, Ahmed Farouk also accused Bauchi State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress and Bauchi State House of Assembly of conniving with the governor to shortchange civil servants in the State.
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“This press conference is necessitated by the fact that our Party has for long waited in the face of violation of our laws for those who the task of fighting against injustice fell on their heads but who have chosen not to, either for lack of knowledge of these violations or for having been compromised or lack of patriotism or both.
“As you are all aware, His Excellency the Governor of Bauchi State only a couple days ago signed into law the 2022 Bauchi State Appropriation Law which as you all know is the legal document that will guide the financial spending and expenditure of the State for the next fiscal year.
“Worrisome about this document is how it has consistently refused to be synchronized with the provision and requirement of the National Minimum Wage Act 2019- a statute of general application in Nigeria, about 2 years into its 5 years life span.
“See sections 2 and 3(4) of the Act respectively. The penalties for the violation of this law are well encapsulated therein. See also S. 9(2)(a)(b)(c) and S10 (2)(a) (b) of the Act and we intend to test the full application of this law,” he said.
The PRP chairman further noted that although a section of the law mandate the government to pay minimum wage, for the last 2 years Bauchi governor has not attempted to comply with the requirement let alone implement it as required by the Act.
“For the record, the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 in section 3(1) to be precise mandated all employers of Labour- Bauchi State inclusive to pay a minimum wage of N30,000.00 (thirty thousand naira) only per month to every worker under his/her/or its establishment.
“Sadly, for the last 2 years, Bauchi State has not attempted to comply with this requirement let alon, implement it as required by the Act. In fact, S.3(3) voids every agreement with the aim to pay less than N30,000.00 (thirty thousand naira) only to its employee. This glaringly makes the Bauchi State Appropriation Law 2022 just signed by the Governor void ab initio.
“One wonders where the labour leaders are who pride themselves as being the protectors of Nigerian worker. We view their silence as compromise and charge them to wake up to their responsibilities before its too late to cry.
“If the attitude of the union leaders looks more of a compromised act, what more can one say to that of the State Legislators, the only symbolic deference between a democracy and the military rule? These are gentlemen who are not only closer to the grassroots of our people but those who the constitution of our country not only mention but cloth them with a garment of an arm of a government,” he added.
They said that it will institute legal action against the government in the event that it fails to act in the interest of civil servants in the State.
“This cannot be further tolerated in Bauchi State- at least not by the party we collectively superintend its affairs in Bauchi State nor our National Leadership by extension. It is precisely for this reason and the woeful failures of these main actors that we are compelled to rise up to this challenge.
“It is amidst this bastardisation and the seeming unending strangulation of the civil servants of Bauchi State that we the members of the People Redemption Party Bauchi State chapter feels that enough is enough. We must rise up and so have we to salvage the mass of our civil servants without who we are sure our political consciousness in Bauchi State will forever remain injured.
“If within one week from today the Government of Bauchi State does not initiate and indeed send a supplementary appropriation to the Bauchi State House of Assembly for passage wherein the provision of the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 is complied with, failing which we shall do the needful in the circumstance by approaching the court,” the Chairman warned.
Culled from Vanguard