Mr. Abubakar Bello, governor of Niger State has approved a 50% salary cut for civil servants in the North Central State. Labour leaders have rejected the decision.

Governor Bello has said that the state government could no longer “borrow money” to pay salary of civil servants, and urged labour leaders to accept the 50 percent pay cut “in good faith”, a source familiar with the development told The Trent.

The governor’s action has not been well received by labour leaders in the state who staged a walkout from a stakeholder’s meeting organised by Governor Bello, which included traditional rulers in Niger State.

The chairman of the “expanded stakeholder’s forum” is Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar which included leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, other labour unions in the state, and members of civil society groups.

The NLC, in a statement after the meeting, said the union vehemently rejected the proposal by the government, saying the status quo of salary payment in the state must be maintained.

The statement which was jointly signed by the chairman, Mr. Idris Ndako and the Trade Union Congress chairman, Mr. Yunusa Tenimu, gave the government a 2-week ultimatum to pay all outstanding salaries for the month of May, and the full payment of subsequent months.

The unions warned that failure to comply with their demands would be met with an indefinite industrial action.

Civil servants, on Friday, July 1, 2016 were shocked when they received bank alerts confirming that the governor had gone ahead to implement the 50 per cent pay cut, despite objections from the unions.

Mr. Idris Ndako, NLC leaders in the state, however, insisted that the union stood by its earlier warning to the government and demanded the payment of full salaries or the workers would embark on an indefinite strike.

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