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Gov. Bello decries NLC strike in Niger

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The Niger Government has described as unfortunate the strike embarked by the civil servants, saying that the action is inimical to the development of the state.

Gov. Sani Bello said this at the state executive council meeting in Minna on Tuesday.

Bello said that the salary ratio was reached after wide consultations with all stakeholders in the state.

According to him, the action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is rigid because the state government has decided to pay workers 90 percent salary in July as against the 70 per cent paid in June.

Bello said that he met earlier with officials of NLC to forestall the strike but the union refused to accept government proposal.

“I had a meeting with labour and I gave details of our incomes, the on-going developmental projects and why we have to sacrifice today for the future of our children, who are leaders tomorrow.

“But from the action the workers exhibited, it is clear that they are only interested in their salary alone.

“They are not bordered about the state of our schools. All labour wants is for us to use all we have for their salaries.

“I told them that we have to attend to the critical areas as highlighted in our cardinal priority programmes.

“That is why we are fixing our schools in Izom, Bida, Maryam Babangida Girls, Bosso, Kutigi, Kontagora and Rijau. The work in these schools are there for all to see.

“I have made it categorically clear that the 70/30 per cent ratio is not a policy. It is a temporary arrangement.

“If tomorrow our FAAC is increased, workers take home will also increase. I have no intention to punish anybody.

“If I have a revenue of N5 billion, I will gladly pay the N2.4 billion wage bill and still have what to work with. Of what gain is it to me to deny workers their pay,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NLC has decided to go ahead with the strike until their demands are met.

The state NLC Chairman, Mr Idris Ndako, told newsmen that the state government must revert to the status quo of the salary.

Ndako said that the government would have to also meet their demands for stoppage of the pension scheme.

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