The Kwara state government has made fact-based presentations to the labour unions on what it can afford without going to borrow to pay salaries.
Reacting to the strike threat by the labour union, the Cheif Press Secretary to the government, Rafiu Ajakaiye said that the proposal includes that no worker will earn below the 30,000 minimum wage enacted by the Minimum Wage Act. We also made suggestions on the consequential adjustments as they affect the other cadres.
Our initial proposal to the labour, which they have rejected, means that Kwara will now spend 85% of its allocation on public sector workers alone, up from the current 75%, while well over 3.450million Kwarans, will struggle with the remaining 15% percent. This is very scary and hardly sustainable if we want to develop.
The State government also appeals to labour union leaders to temper their demands with the financial realities of the state which they are privy to as new offer will be placed on the table for them.
Indeed, the state government will soon make them a new offer based on the emerging realities of the state. It is important to note that the 2020 budget had been predicated on $57 per barrel of crude oil. But today the price of crude oil has fallen to $54 and that means the financial projection of the country and indeed the state has been seriously altered.
Nonetheless, we believe that the labour union leaders and indeed the entire workforce are patriotic citizens who fully appreciate the peculiar situation of Kwara at the moment. We urge the workers’ unions to kindly see reasons why we cannot afford to go borrowing to pay salaries in the face of yawning infrastructural deficits and underdevelopment.