The Niger State Government has frowned on the insistence of the state Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of demanding their 100 per cent salaries stating that security of the state is more important than the salaries of civil servants.
This was implied by the state Commissioner of Information and Communication, Sani Idris who stated that the government will not mortgage the security of the state at the expense of salary payment.
Idris who spoke to newsmen in Minna declared that the government maintains its stand that it would not be able to pay the workers 100 per cent of their salaries emphasizing that the reality on the ground is that the administration of Governor Abubakar Bello can not compromise the fight against banditry to pay salaries.
Explaining the financial status of the government, he said, “The state government received a total of N4.2 billion from FAAC for October as against the over N5 billion it normally gets.
“Out of this amount, workers salaries will gulp N2.9 billion, pension and gratuities will gulp N500 million and the contributory pension scheme will gulp N200 million leaving next to nothing for other segments, especially security.
” Honestly, the government cannot forgo security and pay salaries alone, we can not relent on our ongoing onslaught against banditry, this inconvenience for workers is temporary, they need to understand this”, he said.
Idris stated that this trying period is the time for all stakeholders in the state to join in the collective effort in saving the state from financial bankruptcy.
“We are in a period of crisis which is not peculiar to Niger state alone, worldwide the reality is there, from the COVID-19 pandemic as we were exiting it signalled this recession.
” The truth is that Nigeria is not left out of this recession, Niger state as a unit is not immuned, that is why the government is appealing for workers understanding in the payment of percentage salaries in November “
He noted that the state is affected with some many security challenges and need a lot of resources to combat it adding that the State government has been collaborating with the chief of Army staff and his Airforce counterpart to tackle the security challenge head-on in the last few months