By Jimin Geoffrey
Benue State government and labour union leaders in the state have reached interim agreement on payment of the N30,000 national minimum wage to civil servants.
Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN, who briefed journalists today at the end of a meeting with Governor Ortom said it was agreed that implementation for civil servants on grade levels one to six starts immediately.
According to him, implementation for civil servants on grade level seven and above would be put on hold and discussions on same resume after detailed cleaning of the payroll which is currently ongoing.
State Chairman Joint Negotiations Councils 1, 2 and 3, Comrade Ojema Ojotu in a remark said the union leaders agreed with the state government based on current realities including economic recession which had resulted to a drop in revenue accruals from federation account and the ongoing cleaning up of the payroll.
He stated that labour unions were keenly following the cleaning exercise and were optimistic it would yield positive results, stressing that it was actually worrisome for the wage bill to keep increasing when civil servants had retired with many deaths recorded.
Comrade Ojotu while fielding questions from journalists said the union leaders who are also part of the payroll cleaning exercise according to the SSG, have faith in the interim agreement with the state government, adding however that they would not hesitate to put forward a reminder at the appropriate time.