Chairman of the Delta State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON), Hon. Itiako Ikpokpo, has said the state cannot afford the full implementation of the new national minimum wage for local government workers and primary school teachers for now.
The Delta ALGON Chairman explained that the delay in the implementation of the new national minimum wage was caused by the present financial difficulties faced by Local Governments.
Hon. Ikpokpo in a statement in Asaba shortly after an emergency meeting of ALGON to discuss the ultimatum issued by the leadership of labour unions in the state.
Delta State Chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), primary school structures of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), had issued the warning a fortnight ago.
Reacting to the labour unions clamour, Hon. Ikpokpo noted that payment of primary school teachers and local government workers is squarely the responsibility of the Local Governments and not the Delta State Government.
He appealed to the workers to shelve the proposed strike action as ALGON is working assiduously on how to implement the new minimum wage.
“Payment of salaries of primary school teachers and Council staff rests squarely with the Local Governments and not the Delta State Government. It is on record that ALGON have held several consultative meetings and dialogue with the leadership of the workers on how to implement the minimum wage.
“The last being two weeks ago at the Unity Hall where we agreed to meet with His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa with representatives of NULGE, NUT, SUBEB, the Delta State Accountant General, State Directorate of Local Government and the Local Government Service Commission on how to find common ground on the issue”, the ALGON Chairman recalled.